I was motivated to write this based on an experience the I had the other day. I was at the store grabbing a beverage and I saw a woman who I had seen from time to time. We were ‘Hi! How are you?’ Friends at most. It had been a little while since we’d seen one another and our conversation went like this…
Lady: Hey there! I haven’t seen you in a while.
Me: it has been a minute.
Lady: I see you changed your hair. You decided to go blonde? *side eye*
Me: I’ve probably had every color in the spectrum but I always come back to blonde. It’s my favorite.
Lady: I’m not sure I like it.
Me: To each, his own.
Lady: You should’ve gone brown or even black.
Me: hmmmm…perhaps you should pick one of those colors when you get your hair done. I will continue to do me.
There is a song by India Arie that says “I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within”. I love and live by this ideology. I am not defined by my physical attributes, things that I was given by God; nature. In the game of life, my skin, hair, eyes, body shape are all just part of the uniform that I was issued.
Unfortunately, people don’t mind giving you their opinion about the way you wear your ‘uniform’; the clothing you choose, how you style your hair and even how you should feel about your skin. I find that as a black woman, I am judged most harshly by other black women. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard ‘She would be pretty is she wasn’t so dark’ or ‘Why don’t you straighten your hair? It would be much prettier if it was straight’.
I choose to shake it off when people have something to say a out how I present myself to the world, especially as it pertains to my hair. I choose to see my hair as an accessory. I color it, cut it, fluff it, spike it and use it to accentuate my look. I recently cut it and bleached it and I have never felt sexier.
My motto for life…love me for who I am or leave me alone.
I have to admit that I have fallen victim to the reality TV craze; though I can tolerate only so much before I have to change the channel.
I was watching Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and saw something that offended my sensibilities as a lesbian. There was a salon in a LGBT resort destination in Province Town, MA. The salon owner & employees were ridiculous with street-selling that bordered on assault, flamboyant stylists who couldn’t give a decent consultation or a haircut and a hand-written menu of services that offered such goodies as the ‘Better-Than-Sex Pedicure’. The biggest offense was a stripper pole in the middle of the salon that patrons were ‘encouraged’, to the point of harassment, to dance on for discounts on goods & services.
What made it particularly heinous for me is that their often inappropriate antics were explained away by the offenders as being alright “because it’s Province Town.” Multiple times they brought out that they felt the behavior was acceptable because it was a gay community; as if gay people are expected to be ridiculous and over-the-top.
For some people in the LGBT, this may be their reality but I find myself offended by the “schtick” that is often associated with being gay. Contrary to popular belief, not everything in my wardrobe has a rainbow theme. I have conversations that don’t involve lip-smacking, finger-snapping and not so clever wordplay with thinly veiled sexual innuendo.
Some may think that I am making a big deal about this but it upset me that they chose to portray themselves as unprofessional clowns with the expectation that their behavior should be excused because they’re gay; as if their behavior couldn’t be helped. People wonder why there are those who have a hard time taking the LGBT community seriously but with examples like the ones I saw portrayed… Let’s just say that one bad apple can spoil the whole bushel.
I would just like to shout out to those in the community that are showing positive, professional examples of daily life to their community and to the world.
Just Me, JaVonna