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My Hair

March 9, 2011

Sometimes I liken my decision not to have kids with my decision to wear my natural hair. Since I was a young kid, about 12 years old, everybody from my aunt and grandmother to friends at school to strangers encouraged me to wear hair extensions or braids. But I’ve always liked my real hair, with its dense curls and coarseness, and the way it twirls and stays. It’s a part of me, and I’m not ashamed of it. My hair is big, wild and poufy and has its own personality.

The pressure to wear fake hair is very strong in the black community. If you look at black female celebrities, except for a few stars like Lauryn Hill–the vast majority of them wear fake hair. It’s like you need to wear fake hair to be accepted in society. Fake hair that does not resemble your own real hair. Basically, hide who you really are. Cover it up and mask it up. From Beyonce to Gabrielle Union to news reporters, fake hair is “in”.

I find fake hair oppressive and regressive. I really enjoy my hair but more than that, I want to send the message that natural hair is good and cool. My decision all these years has been one I’ve never regretted and something I won’t change. Despite the pressures of the media and my own friends and family, I have stayed true to what I choose and that’s how I feel about being childfree. Yes, all my friends are popping out kids–some of them on their second and third, but just because everybody is doing it doesn’t mean I’ll jump on the bandwagon.

Erykah Badu

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