…by Bee of 83toinfinity.com
This Sunday, the three lovely ladies behind Three Naturals will be hosting their first meet up – the Curly Cookout at Harlem Underground! If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, what are you waiting for? Eating delicious food in a dope venue with Toronto’s finest curlies? You’ve gotta be there!
I’m looking forward to this event for a few different reasons. Aside from the fact that I’m excited for a good ole cookout, I’m also excited to meet all of the awesome contributors and readers of the site. I tend to be shy in new situations and around a ton of new people, but it’s great to know that we’ll all have at least one thing in common: a love of learning about and embracing our hair in its natural state!
This past weekend, the boo piece and I hit up Afrofest – Toronto’s most anticipated free celebration of African food and culture. As we bopped to the drumming performance on stage, the Mister looked to the left, then to the right, then leaned in and said “This is like natural hair heaven.” And he was correct. Locs, afros, cornrows, twist-outs, TWAs, and other natural styles were in abundance at Woodbine Park, and it was great to see. When we left Afrofest, I saw many more naturals on the street, at the gas station, in the mall…which lead me to wonder – has Toronto’s natural hair consciousness changed?
Here in Toronto, I’ve noticed a change during the 4 years I’ve worn my hair naturally. These days, I definitely see more women embracing their natural kinks, curls, and waves. More women who choose to transition or do the Big Chop, revealing the tendrils of hair that most of us haven’t been acquainted with in decades. More women experimenting with locs. More women who may have always been natural, but are just now learning how to take care of their hair. More women who may choose to weave or braid their hair, but know how to properly treat the hair underneath. More men who see the beauty of the natural-haired ladies in their lives, whether that lady be their romantic partner or their daughter. More of the older generation abandoning “good hair” labels and embedded colonial mindsets, and realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with our God-given beauty. Is anyone else seeing this, or is it just me?
When I transitioned, natural hair was seen as a militant move (at its best), or a symbol of shame and ugliness (at its worst). If I had a dollar for every time someone mocked my TWA with a snide Black Power fist, or screwed up their face and told me I looked better with straight hair, I’d have a whole lotta dollars! Nowadays, things have changed. Folks who mocked me are rocking natural hair of their own. People who never thought natural hair could be gorgeous are now advocates of maintaining healthy and beautiful kinks and curls. It may just be happening in my little sphere, but I definitely see a paradigm shift – one that is long overdue.
The presence of amazing online resources like this very site help to change mentalities and notions of beauty, and for that, I am grateful. If you are too, come on out to the Curly Cookout! See you there!