#OOTD: Don’t Touch My Hair

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie articulated in a BBC interview that hair, particularly a black woman’s hair, is political. (PLEASE WATCH THIS BRILLIANT INTERVIEW).

“Is it?” the interviewer responded incredulously, waiting for her to explain her statement further. She pointed out that the way she chooses to style her hair inevitably gives off unintended statements. For example, she may wear her hair out in an afro because she’s tired of styling it and wants to wear it out freely. In turn, others will see her ‘fro and may coin her as a “sistah” or a “vegetarian” or  “soulful” when it reality, she just wants to give her follicles a break. (As you can imagine, snap-assumptions of this sort can be detrimental for black women when seeking employment. But that is another post for the future). I want to go as far as saying that because black hair is so political in nature, the common response for outsiders is to demand for explanations!

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I say this from experience. I walked into my friend’s birthday party a week ago with my new hairdo and upon sitting down, I was immediately DRILLED on questions about how my hair was done, if it was all my hair, and how long it took. In that atmosphere of loud music, dim lights, and alcoholic beverages, I didn’t fully comprehend the impudence of the situation. I didn’t realize how bad it was until a few hours later when a friend of mine came up to me and told me that she loved my new hair, but she wanted to tell me this privately because she understood how the unwelcome attention could lead to me publicly defending the authenticity of my hair right on the spot. Another friend overheard her comment and added that “I was so patient” with the girls that greeted me with prying queries within the minute of my arrival to the gathering.

Which by the way, for those of you that don’t know, if the first thing out ya mouth is “Is it yours???” to a black woman, STOP. Well-intentioned or not, that’s a micro-aggression and it is extremely degrading. Please, a simple compliment will surely suffice.

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Since then,  I’ve been hit with a few more unwanted (and a few wanted) opinions on my hair and it has bothered me simply because of the fact that there are so many! This is not to talk of the content of their opinions. Pero, Who. Asked. You?

Do wavy-haired brunettes get the same unbridled speculation on their hairstyles as well? That was the question that darted through my mind when I went through the previous week–somewhat reluctant to go into social situations for fear of being bombarded with another person’s “assessments.” When I first viewed Adichie’s interview a month ago, I ruminated on the assumptions that she spoke of–not really knowing that her declaration would bring me into a higher level of consciousness, making me more aware of the social dynamics took place that night and many other instances before that.  What a curious world to be in as a black woman.

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Solange’s song Don’t Touch My Hair has also resonated with me for this very reason. Her statement, “Don’t touch my hair” establishes boundaries in terms of physical touch, but I want to add to that conversation by also establishing a boundary around how one speaks about and responds to black women’s hair choices/styles. It is my and many other black women’s “crowns.” It is our personal space and no one has the right to challenge our authenticity, or forcibly digest dispensable judgements. We got to respect that boundary for black women, period.

Comment or message me below if any part of this post resonated with you, if you had an experience similar to mine, or if you learned something vital. Love to hear some thoughts!

Top: Gifted by Modupe Alabi

Shoes: Adidas Originals Superstars

xx

-A

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more opinions. lol.

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Zipper

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Your art will always look different in comparison to someone else’s even if it’s taken in direct inspiration of another’s creation. Your body shape, your hand stroke, and the lens in which you see the world will be uniquely different than anyone else’s strokes, shape, and perspectives. Your experience is uniquely yours.

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Lets not forget that within the fashion blogging sphere! I see way too many flat lay Instagram pics and monochromatic outfit grids taking over this wonderful sector of fashion on social media. I’m over the commercialization of blogging. It’s sad to slowly watch my once favorite bloggers turn into replicas of other ones. The industry puts so much pressure to put out content that content becomes unoriginal. I refuse to fall prey. #imnotcommercialanymore

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I named this post Zipper because I feel like my lip color pulls the whole outfit together. It gives it an interesting edge. Interpret my outfit, the makeup, and the lighting of these images as you will. There was no particular thought process in putting my ensemble together. My subconscious is sometimes drawn to certain pieces coming together depending on the music I’m listening to, the books I read, and the place that I am in. Draw inspiration from it–your interpretation of it will be uniquely yours. Build upon that.

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Pale Pink Heels: Asos

Lip Color: Zipper from ColourPop

xx

-A

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#OOTD: Serving A Look

Winter in California isn’t brutal compared to other states in the U.S. Of this, I am highly aware.

But being a born and bred Californian, when the temperature starts to flirt with the low 60s high 50s, you will catch me in a wool trench coat. Some say I’m being dramatic. I say I’m serving a look.

So speaking of serving one, I’m going to showcase my newest addition to my closet: my Zara square toed heel.

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I have to admit, I was somewhat hesitant buying these because I know that square toed shoes are trending–and when it comes to trends, they don’t last long. I wanted to make sure that I would wear these bad boys to death. And fortunately, I have been. They’re are comfortable to trot around in, and give a nice touch of edge to any outfit that is looking a little blasé.

These particular ones are sold out (I made a good choice then!) However, these are the closest version to them.

Shout out to Modupe for quickly snapping these shots for me. IG: @mo_alabi

Follow me on Instagram. You know where to go by now (well at least you should).

xx

-A