Love Letter to Everyone about my hair

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Ironically this is the first post about my hair on this blog. I’d been working on one called My Salon Issues but…

Getting back to it…
    
                                    …………………………….,
                                                       Lagos
(Receivers’ Address Here)

Dear Everyone,
I love you all and because of this love, I need to say this one teeny weeny tiny thing that chokes me up and brings me to angry, annoyed or frustrated tears whenever you chime in with your “helpful” suggestions about my hair. It is this-
Please. Stop. Criticizing. Me

Oh your suggestions are extremely helpful sometimes, it certainly is a pleasure to know that you care about my appearance and I eagerly await the day when Chike will buy me that weave BUT I genuinely beg you to stop the comparison, the snide comments, the incessant pointing out of faults. You all know that I can’t stand it. And if you didn’t, biko start taking notes.

This hair; I did not start it as a feminist statement, I did not cut it off to spite anyone. My hair is not a statement, not a whim and not a way to continuously siphon money off anyone. I didn’t do that when it was relaxed so gwanu’m, why would I be doing that now?

And while we are on the subject, leave me be on the subject of protective styling. I know when I want to braid, weave or put a weave on. Your “helpful suggestions” and threats don’t do anything other than frustrate and antagonise me.

If you genuinely do want to help, get knowledgeable about natural hair. Get me hair accessories that I can use. Do not make sweeping judgment statements and also, stop threatening to cut my hair or refuse to be seen with me until I do something “about that nonsense on my head”. I just might take you up on that offer. But I won’t do anything about the hair, I’ll do something about YOU.

It might surprise you to know but this hair gets complimented fairly often.
And not just by men. And when it is well styled, I have practically given conferences on the sidewalk, my bedroom and outside the class on it and caring for it. I’d like to believe that I’m growing in this journey. Don’t rain on my parade. And though this hair might seem odd to you, remember this,
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By the way, while we’re already on the subject, I’d appreciate it also if you swallowed all your catty comments about my “accent”, the way I walk and my “weirdness”. If you could, please turn them into compliments. I’d love that. I’d even return it.
Till then, I remain…

Yours,

Obianuju Ayalogu

Glossary
Biko- Please (Igbo)
Gwanu’m- Tell me (Igbo)

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24 thoughts on “Love Letter to Everyone about my hair

  1. Beautiful post Uju, sad thing is a number of people can only be supportive by saying negative things. It’s annoying but that’s how it is.

    1. Thank you for the comment Adaeze. It has always surprised me that that seems true sometimes but it behooves on us as individuals to let people know our likes, dislikes and pet peeves.
      How are you doing today?

      1. I’m good Uju, you’re right on it being our duty to let people know our likes and all… I hope they learn quickly and not let us resort to our karate kicks. Been a while Uju, I trust you’re ok… right?

      2. I’m great. A bit tired, but nothing a few days of shut eye and some extremely put-down-able books won’t cure.
        Kisses (cheek) and hugs.

      1. We are rolling whatever way the breeze takes us. I’m cool with it until I have to do a new one, the combing or motivating it with my fingers hurts my scalp.

      2. That sounds hurtful, I guess. But I was actually referring to your family 😎. Thanks for the ammunition though.

  2. I didn’t realise you were referring to my Heritage…they are good and keep coming up with new reasons to make me laugh and glad to be in their lives, as well as have them in mine. Hope your hair is conforming today?

  3. I enjoyed reading your letter- insightful.
    Minding our business is a bit foreign to us humans. Just let us talk and respond with a smile. We’ll soon move to another ‘busybodi’ topic 😉
    You’ve got that right- you’re awesome!

    1. Aww, thank you. Giving compliments is also something that seems foreign to us humans. I’m happy this letter seems to be bringing it back.
      Don’t forget though, you’re awesome too.

  4. Dear Uju,

    This post really cracked me up but I did not fail to notice its underlying deeper significance.

    Seeking other people’s validation is rather exhausting and doesn’t naturally guarantee a sense of fulfilment. Do you!

    I agree with you, the reluctant complimenter is even worse than the non-complimenter.

    Btw, your skin is glowing like smooth caramel in that pic 🙂

    1. Thank you for the comment! It’s been a bit too.
      Truth be told, there were so many days before when I wished for a compliment or 50. These days, it hardly matters to me. What gets to me though is the relentless criticism. Do you have any tips for dealing with that?
      And the skin, it glows naturally. The grace of God, water and Sebamed soap. Completely masked my sensitive skin issues.
      Back to you- how are you doing these days?

      1. I suppose a façade of aloofness plus a pasted-on smile can help with dealing with that. People stop finding it emotionally gratifying, when they don’t get a reaction from you after they issue hurtful words. Eventually, they will back off.

        But then again, it’s only human to feel stung and want to react. There are times when I remember hurtful words that I gave no response or reaction to, I become quite annoyed and wish that I could board a time travel machine, then go back to deliver a sharp retort or even a slap!

        Hurt given for hurt is pointless really.

        I am good o, I’ve resumed blogging too. Thank you for asking 🙂

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