While wracking my brain about what to write about this week, I decided to talk about my hair this week. This may sound funny but if you are a mix raced girl from Cape Town known as the “Coloured girl” You will know our hair can tell many stories.
Close to the beginning of the year, I was challenged to go love myself, and while loving myself, I was asked to post an unedited picture of myself. If you missed the picture and what I wrote here it is below.
“Today I got challenged to share a real picture no photoshop, no editing, no smoothing out my skin and all the other junk we do to portray a perfect image of ourselves. This is me bare faced and messy hair, for the longest time I hated my hair it was never straight enough it looked untidy I didn’t fit into what society deemed as usual. I spent so much of my mother’s hard earned money growing up to chemically straighten it, and ruined it in the process, my hair was my biggest insecurity!
Only when it was sleek and straight did I feel accepted and good I hated going swimming because I didn’t want to reveal my true authentic self.
I am so happy to say today I have let that all go it’s taken years for me to embrace my curls and feel confident about my hair. When people give me compliments, it still feels so strange to me that my biggest insecurity has now become something I am so proud of and something that makes me authentically me. I didn’t think this would be so hard to put into words but this is me, and I am learning to love all of me one day at a time!”
Now almost two years of embracing the curl I cannot be happier. I dreamt of the day I had wash and go hair, and I had it all along. The difference is what version of me I felt comfortable with. I didn’t love crazy haired Thalea because I was told for so long that it’s not ok. My unruly hair is my biggest headache now it’s the thing I celebrate the most.
So how did I embrace the curl you may be wondering…. It happened by accident to be honest when I arrived in Korea I would still blow dry my hair and straight iron it whenever I would wash it. Until one day I came home really late from a trip and was way too lazy to spend two hours trying to straighten my hair. So I went to work with my curly hair. I did not expect the reaction I received from my coworkers and my students they all loved my hair. For the first time in my life, I had people complimenting my curly hair. Ever since that day I never forced myself to make my hair straight again.
My natural curl has finally come back, something I thought I had lost forever since I did the most ridiculous treatments to my hair to force my naturally curly hair to be perfectly straight.
So the reason why I made my hair straight in the first place was that everyone around me had straight hair the pretty girls at school. The models in the fashion magazines the celebrities I grew up admiring all had straight hair and looked a certain way so being bombarded with these images and being a coloured girl with not natural straight hair you always seemed less. Less beautiful because we looked different instead of being told that our differences make us more attractive and that blending in is not ok and that we should want to stand out and pave our own way.
The funny thing is in Korea the beauty standards are insane, and I can write an entirely different post just on that topic alone. So with these unrealistic beauty standards of being white skinned with big eyes straight hair and skinny bodies. Then there is me not conforming to any part of what they believe,being darker skinned curly haired and of average weight, being seen as beautiful and they admired my hair. It was so strange but felt so good. I was freeing myself from my own unrealistic beauty standards.
Now I am just Thalea, and my curly hair has become my signature in a sense that I no longer hide and blend into the crowd I stand out even when I don’t really want to. My biggest insecurity has become my biggest asset.
I am so happy that the beauty industry has been evolving and embracing all shapes, and sizes of women and those beauty standards are not just one thing it’s everything from the inside out.
I am so happy that young girls with curly hair will not have to go through the same struggles I had to endure to have straight hair that they will be loved as they are, more so than what they look like. I am glad that when they look at magazines, celebrities and on social media that they are more exposed to all shapes of beauty and that little girl with her curly hair is admired, and she doesn’t have to have nightmares of hair washing day like I had growing up.
I know the new generation has an entirely new set of problems, but if I can see more curly haired girls running around and embracing their natural hair without shame and feeling less worthy, that’s a win I will gladly take.
Let me know if any of you have any curly hair or straight hair stories I would love to hear them.
Thanks for reading and to keep up to date please check out my instagram I am creating more fun content there too.
I will post some embaracing picturs below of my past hairstyles trying to fit in as I grew up figuring myself out. It’s so funny to see these pictures now i don’t even recognise myself like this.
Peace Love and Happiness