It's Not That Easy Being Tween
Or Hair it is again.
Can you see the head about to spin?
There is a meme going around on Facebook that tells what it really means if a woman says, "OK" or "Fine!" Included in this meme should be tweens because my Tween has been declaring things, "OK" and "Fine" since she got her hair chopped off and has been wearing it "natural" since the summer. Let me explain.
The hair thing has come up again for The Bee. When she was little I think I did a great job using positive words and actions to talk about her hair and all was cool. There was some pressure from family but we really kept our collective heads until the summer. Before, The Bee was getting her hair braided by women who must have been used to braiding baskets out of a straw and wire mixture because after appointments her hair would be so tight and sore that she would have headaches and welts and sores in her head for days. Plus the hair they used to braid her hair was ruining her hair and making it look as of someone took a pair of scissors to her head.
The other hair stylist we were going to started to make a case for The Bee to get a relaxer which I am so against. Let me break it down: relaxers just cause such a negative reaction in me. I think it's what they represented to me in my youth: No! You can't go swimming, out in the rain, do anything that will, could or maybe mess up your hair. Relaxers may have changed from those days when I worshiped at the alter of Dark and Lovely but I still feel angst about subjecting my kid to that practice. When The Bee is old enough to maintain her hair, sure she can get a chemical treatment and pay for the service. Until then, an emphatic NO! Also, why is it that Black children are encouraged to go straight especially when that straight goes against everything that their hair is? The Bee's hair is a mixture of tight, tight, tight curls, very soft like cotton. Why not work with what she has...which was our solution for a while. The Bee decided that she wanted to wear her hair natural, something I think was born of her desire to discourage her hair from being talked about so much. I can dig it; sometimes its easier to fold and play dead then to fight the machine that is family but even her attempts to go along with it didn't work. The Bee's hair was the topic of many a conversation until even I was avoiding get togethers and events.
Our many YouTube viewings on how to do hair were all for nothing; I can crochet my butt off but my kid's hair...mom fail. Repeated conversations with The Bee resulted in, "It's fine" when clearly it wasn't. She was moody, she was acting out, she was miserable. Yes, it's hair but when hair is discussed ad nauseum and always, always, always a thing, it does cause problems. Again, I never wanted her looks to be the focus but let's face it, 12 year old girls like to be cute. Excuse me, MY 12 year old girl likes to look cute. She is smart, she is wonderful, she is a pain in my butt at times but she is a great kid, even on those Linda Blair days. But she is all of those things and wanted to look cute along with it.
A few weeks ago I nearly tackled a woman leaving my library about her gorgeous locs and she shared the number for a woman I can only call The Hair Whisperer. Naomi is fantastic, professional, funny and knows her stuff. She didn't gouge me on the price (side eye at Buffy's lady) and made me look fab. I asked her about The Bee and we made tentative plans. Logistically I wasn't able to get The Bee there until last night and we were so pleased with the results. What a difference a 'do makes. Yesterday morning I was literally attempting to shake some sense into my kid. Her attitude, was just funky and I even called The Dad and cried "Uncle!"
It's only been a few hours but there is a change in my girl. She was happy, the newness of a new look made her happy excited, confident. The Bee chatted all the way to school, left the car with a smile and even allowed some physical contact.
Fresh 'do, happy kid
Also, note the awesomeness of the
Starfleet Academy Shirt she's sporting
I was wrong. I thought that my attitude about locs, natural hair and looks were enough but, as I learned, my kid is her own person and she wanted to do as I said but also needed to be something for herself. She's still 12 so some of her tweeness shows through but she's happier, excited and I think I'll keep her.
Hair's looking at you kid!