Well, it finally happened. I looked in the mirror the other day and I spoke these words to my reflection, "Eww, girl, what have you done?". As I stared in my bathroom mirror, still foggy from my steamy shower, I couldn't believe how ugly I felt. Sure, since I cut off my locs on 8/22, I've had fleeting moments of doubt about my decision to wear a teeny weeny afro. However, this was different. I honestly felt that I looked like an overweight dude and THAT was my biggest beauty fear come true.
As I type this I realize that it may sound superficial. However, this is what I felt in that moment. I was ashamed to have these negative internal dialogues. After all, I am a proud Black woman who teaches classes on diversity and identity. Why in the world was I allowing myself to fall prey to the negative hype out there about my beauty? "Tina", I said to my reflection, "you are a beautiful woman. The only reason you feel ugly is because your hair has been devalued in society. Your coily hair is BEAUTIFUL. Your Afrocentric features are GORGEOUS".
Honestly, I felt so bad that I didn't even want to write this blog. How can I encourage other people to be positive about themselves when I felt so downright unattractive? The good thing is that the feeling did pass. BUT, I do wonder if it will return. What do you see when you look in the mirror?
This hair-identity-self esteem connection is real.
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