Being mistreated and made fun of simply because of your different hair texture is abhorrent. Sharing her ordeal with Humans of Bombay, a girl unfolds how she finally began to own herself after years of feeling insecure.
When her mom started seeing proposals for her, she met a guy for coffee. She tells, “It started off great and then just digressed into an interrogation about my hair – ‘How do you comb it?’ After 15 minutes, I literally had to tell him, ‘Can we please not talk about my hair?’ After when his mom came home, she had the gall to ask me, ‘Don’t you comb your hair?’ It obviously didn’t work out with that guy.”
She recounts that while growing up, her mom had no idea what to do with her hair. She would pull at it, keep combing it and then empty half a bottle of oil on her head. “But nothing worked, yet, she kept trying. It was her mission to ‘tame’ my hair,” she said.
Her insecurity began at a young age. “In school, if I ever ate Maggi, kids would say, ‘Why are you eating your own hair?’ Even on birthdays, while other girls would keep their hair open and come to school, I’d oil it and tie it up. Kids would throw chits and paper balls in my hair; they’d get stuck there and I wouldn’t even know!”
“I remember I used to take salsa classes, and sometimes, my partner’s hands would get stuck in my hair. It was so awkward!” the girl added. Later, she got her hair permanently straightened, and spent almost Rs.12,000 on it. “I got lots of compliments, but only because it was straight.”
Washing away the insecurity
She was 17 when for the first time ever, someone acknowledged that her curly hair was beautiful. “I was getting out of the pool, my hair was a mess–I was clipping it up when a friend stopped me and said, ‘Don’t do that! Your hair is what makes you exceptional!’ I was in disbelief, but she insisted that I stop damaging my hair. Her words jolted me; I decided to just let it be.”
Six months later, she met a dance instructor with stunning, curly hair and she was owning it. Seeing her hair on someone else really helped. Gradually, she stopped bothering. “People have called me ‘Malinga’, my Dadi thinks my hair is crooked, and cousins have joked about me moving to Africa. And you know what? I just don’t care anymore.”
“I want to be with someone who loves me, wild hair and all; someone who doesn’t mind laughing with me when his watch gets stuck in my hair. Because believe me, it’ll happen! I do want to get married, but not at the expense of being judged – especially since I love my hair!”
“I feel beautiful, but I’m so much more: I’m a professional dancer, graphic designer, I worked as a creative director for 10 years, and now I’m a makeup artist. Measure by those things; my achievements. Do that, and then we’ll talk,” she concluded. Indeed, confidence is what sails the ship, always!
Read More: The Ordeal Of Self-Love – A Personal Journey
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.