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Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Will it ever get better?"

We went out of town this weekend to visit family.  On Friday C's hair was in a ponytail with a headband, so of course I had to do some detangling before bed.  While me and C were getting her hair ready for a quick protective braid, my mom asked me "Will her hair ever get any better?"  Of course that question made me a little upset, but I didn't let it show because I didn't think it was meant to sound the way it did to me.  I just said "What do you mean "better"? What's wrong with it?" My mom said to me "I was just wondering if it would ever get better... or worse." 

I've explained to her (and several other people) that C's hair is the way it is and that's the only way it's ever going to be as long as I have any control over her!
I explained that again, as nicely as possible and told her C's hair would only get "worse" if she didn't take care of it.  It really did upset me that someone would say something negative about C's hair with her sitting right there, but then again, we're used to our family making comments like this, so it didn't come as much of a surprise.

I hear my mom, my grandma and even my sister telling people that I do really amazing things with C's hair, and that they are impressed or proud, but then they can turn around and say the exact opposite later when no one else is around.  I've gotten to the point where I don't want to be around family at a time I'm going to have to comb C's hair because we always get the same speech...  "If I had to deal with hair like that, I'd straighten it and keep it real short!  I don't know why you would put yourself or C through all that!"
My mom (and other family) says they 'like' what I can do with C's hair, but think it looks best down.  Of course that means lots of extra detangling, which brings extra criticism.
I also don't like any of my family to see C with her hair in braids because they constantly ask her if it hurts, and call her "Poor little C"! If that wasn't bad enough on it's own, they always have to touch it and insist that it hurt when C's hair was being done.  I hardly ever add accessories to C's hair when I know family will see it, because that looks "like a black girl's hair"...  Like that's supposed to be a bad thing! No matter how I do C's hair, even if I cut it all off and keep it permed, she will always be half black and that will never change!  Both of my children were planned and made out of love.  They're everything I wanted them to be and more, so why can't people understand that?

I still do C's hair however I want it or however she asks me to do it no matter what anyone else thinks or says, but it all still makes me really mad- not to mention sad!  Everyone says they accept my kids, but how can you honestly say that when you constantly bring up something about them that isn't good enough for you and that you want to change about them? 

If you go through anything like this, I'd like to hear what you say to people.
If you are getting the sense that someone is racist or un-approving of your child(ren), you know how it feels.  I find myself not only feeling guilty if I don't do C's hair a special way, but also feeling like people are looking at us feeling sorry for my daughter because of the way her hair looks.  Maybe they think I don't know how to take care of her hair or I'm too lazy to do it when I'm actually just giving it a break from styling.  C doesn't like her hair looking messy either- I'll catch her looking in the mirror trying to smooth down her frizzies, and sometimes she'll ask me to redo her hair.  I always do it for her, but I make sure to tell her "It doesn't look bad- I'm doing this for you because you asked."  That way I'm not giving her the idea that I agree her hair looks bad.

The advice I would offer to anyone is don't let it affect the way you take care of your child(ren).  Not just their hair, but them as a whole.  Don't let anyone make you feel like your child is not good enough, or that there is a certain way they should look. 
Even though it hurts my feelings that instead of hearing "You did a good job on her hair!" I hear "Oh, why would you do that to her hair?  I can't believe you make that poor little girl sit through that!"   I still want to instill in C's head that she is beautiful and her curly hair is not only beautiful, but the way she was born and she should embrace it and love herself the way she is!
Whenever C tells me that someone at school says anything negative about her hair, I tell her it's because they're jealous.  I have her believing that!  :)  I'd rather fill her head with self confidence and make her full of herself than fill her head with negativity and give her low self esteem. 
I do C's hair however we decide to do it and if that makes anyone unhappy, that's just too bad! 

I find myself constantly having to justify styling my own daughter's hair.  I explain that I'm actually doing C a big favor by doing her hair, because I've also met biracial (and all black or all white) children who get made fun of because they go to school with their hair messy and no one even cares enough for them to try and make it look decent.  I explain that although I think C's hair looks gorgeous down, I can't leave it down all the time because it gets knotted up and it's damaging to detangle.  I don't want to have to keep cutting pieces of C's hair- even if it is just 2 strand knots, because I want her hair to be long and healthy.  I spend a lot of time and money caring for C's hair because I love her and I want her hair to look it's best.  I want C to know that her natural hair is special and it can be beautiful when you take care of it.
Keep doing what you want and don't worry what anyone else likes or thinks. 
I always give C lots of compliments on how pretty she looks when I'm done with her hair and so far it's made it easier to get her to sit for long styling sessions.  I'm not going to let the ignorance of someone else decide how my daughter's hair will look and I want her to feel the same way.
This kind of ignorance is the exact reason why I ruined my son's hair and very well could have ruined C's hair.  I shared this story with you all in hopes that I could help even one person going through the same thing.  I hope that you will also make your own decisions and remember that your child already looks the way they are 'supposed' to look! 


  1. I WISH people in my family would say something like that to me, especially in front of either of my children. My mom used to not care for braids in my daughters hair so I made a point to braid her hair more often. =)

    I'm biracial myself so those things don't even sting me personally but it will sting if you say it about my kids. Keep doing your thing. If you like her hair in braids, braid it. If you like beads, add beads. If they DARE say anything negative there's 1 fix to that. They can see their way out of your life as quickly as they came into it.

    It's almost as if they're attempting to put shame on you for having biracial kids, especially with the it looks too black stuff.. I mean, what IS looking too black anyways ya know? lol

    1. I always used to ask everyone "How do you think I should do C's hair?" Until it was more than clear they weren't going to like anything I did. Then I did the same thing you did- I braided C's hair and put lots of accessories in it just to prove I dont care what anyone thinks!
      And youre right- yes, my family was against me having biracial kids. They say they have no problem with it now and they do treat my kids good for the most part, but when you make such comments, how am I supposed to know your real feelings?!
      Even when someone does say something degrading and my kids hear it, I'm sure to always speak up for them and follow the negativity with tons of compliments. I even go as far as telling my kids anyone who says anything bad about them is just jealous because theyre so beautiful/handsome! :)
      Thanks for your comment Shay!

  2. You said it. No matter what you do, some people will never be happy, no matter what you do you won't be able to please them. What a silly question "will her hair ever get any better..." "Will YOURS??!" Is probably what I would have blurted out against my better judgement, lol. I think your daughter's hair is beautiful, as is she. As far as your family goes, they seem so sheltered. I think they just need to get out more or something. Newsflash- There's a whole world out here and mixed people live in it, I'm one of them!


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