by Ncumisa Mbusi
Personally I had never even noticed her out of the 12 girls until her hair was cut short. All of a sudden I could see the deep blue eyes and the beautiful freckles sprinkled all over her rosy cheeks. And she really just stood out from all the contestants, she was beautiful, the kind of beauty that you find yourself thinking, “The universe must have really paused and watched her being created, perfection to the T”. It had all been disguised by the long hair.
So the poor girl is crying hysterically the entire night, and at the photo shoot, and during the feedback sessions that they have with Tyra. She is convinced that she is the ugliest woman on earth now that her hair has been cut short. She looks at the mirror and howls; she doesn’t see all that beauty she possesses, because her hair is gone. This got me thinking, to what extend does a woman’s hair define her beauty and her worth?
At that moment it crosses my mind that, I have been informed many times that women with short or no hair are not appealing to men. They feel threatened by her, that she is not feminine enough, and rather appears rough on the edges. This comes from many others, men and women, that have been quizzed on this topic, and also a dear friend who loves them weaves and I must say, she looks really good in them. She is very pretty, has explored dreadlocks, short hair etc, and she looks relly good in weaves. I, on the other hand, have always preferred to go natural and short. At some stage I even grew locks, mainly because I thought they would give me options to do all the beautiful styles that I see fellow sisters rocking, without actually buying 100% HUMAN hair!!
It is not that I have anything against weaves per se; it has more to do with the fact that I personally look best in my short almost no hair, or so I thought. And I have been told many times. See, my high school was very strict with all students having short, untreated black hair. I got used to that look and wouldn’t even bother to do anything different even during holidays because I’d have to cut it again when schools open. And even when I proceeded to tertiary and the workplace that became my trademark. I have always loved my natural look, and not even dreadlocks can match up to how I feel when I have no hair whatsoever. Or so I thought, until I was compelled to put a weave on.
You might think why do I feel I was compelled? Well, I was single, and there was a funeral in the family, the deceased happened to be a male cousin who had plenty of gorgeous friends that came now and again for condolences. And obviously they would all be at the funeral, and did I mention they were gorgeous? And I had been single for months and craving a little bit of attention? I had cut my locks because it was in summer and hot, me not used to so much hair on my head they drove me crazy. I kept them, so I can re-attach them again at a later stage. So I decided to explore the weave options, because they would serve both purposes, my hair will grow longer so I can reattach my locks, and hopefully I will look good enough to attract a few suitors at the funeral.
The weave worked, everyone noticed, at work, at play, I had never ever had that much attention from people about my hair before. I looked gorgeous! Yet I was feeling lost, in a foreign world and very irritated by the weave. I felt like I was betraying me, by succumbing to what didn’t come naturally to me, and I really couldn’t embrace it. Eventually I removed it and went back to what I’m comfortable in, my locks, but the question still remained at the back of my mind,
TO WHAT EXTENT DOES A WOMAN’S HAIR DEFINE HER BEAUTY AND HER WORTH? And so I ask….