One Day At a Time
Do you recognize this woman?
Still nothing? I'm not surprised. The last time you saw her was probably underneath no less than 20 pounds of weave, a signature for her and her sister, especially.
Solange Knowles, sister of Beyonce Knowles, is exciting to me. Her music, largely slept on by people who prefer the trendier, pop stylings of her sister, is actually good to me. I'm not so sure I want to see it performed live, but I enjoy listening to it when it comes up in the shuffle. It's honest music, a young woman coming into her own, from behind the shadow of her sister's (and her sister's husband) mega-stardom. Solange has openly announced that she'll leave all that for her sister, she just wants to be who she is. I suppose another step toward her self discovery, or acceptance, is to come out from under the weight of all that added hair and show herself to herself and the world.
Not knowing Solange personally, I could be asking for too much. I may have just made her out to be the poster child for natural hair amongst Black women celebs when she may just be following the current trend. Edgy is in. Sistas in the limelight are sporting "channels" again, a la Grace Jones, or shaving off their sides. Kelis did it a few years ago, almost unnoticed, but Rihanna is on it now and I'm sure it will take off. Everyone is showing how hard they can be, even in all their girlishness. I like it, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure what it's rooted in, no pun intended. Truthfully, it's not my business why anyone does what they do to their hair. I'm all about natural hair for myself, but I'm not the one who believes all Black women have to do what I do. I simply believe all Black women should know why they do what they do. And whatever you choose to wear, just wear it well!!
Still, I can't help but be optimistic. A woman with kinky hair who gets chased by the paparazzi does sends a message. It tells this bolder, freer generation of young women that it's OK to be who you are, down to your own follicles. It makes natural hair a more accessible option than the random strange older woman on the train. "Why she wanna look like a boy?" to "That's hot!" It's a shame that we even need celebrities to lead the way for the masses to join in a self-acceptance movement. Solange is a little less scary than Grace Jones, making the perhaps not so subtle hint that it's alright to be just who you are.
Maybe now that Solange is sporting her kinks and curls with pride, my own child will feel ok with hers. Everyone else seems to love it but with 'tweens it often requires external influences to affirm health and beauty choices. It's unfortunate but...whatever it takes.
Curly girls stand up and...
Watch me move!