And so the locs

I’m not original. I mean I am an original but I do things that are trendy. Everybody and their 2nd cousin has started a loc journey. And gotdamnit they should!!! My God, the freedom. The freedom for a Black American person to wear their hair as it grows out of their head is monumental to our humanity. To enjoy the curls, the thickness, the texture of our hair as God intended. That’s freedom. As I approach my bicentennial year, I want that freedom.

I have baby starter locs. They are short and puffy. I have hellified shrinkage. However, we all know that means my coiffure is healthy AF. Soooooo shrink away cute coils. Do your thing! I toyed with not starting my locs because of the stigmatism and racism non Blacks have built up around beautiful Black American hair, hair styles, and textures. I kept telling myself you’re an older woman, who has a very dark complexion, who is taller than the average American male, and who always feels the social ills of colorism, even from your own people. I told myself that locs would just amplify the speed to which visual disdain is heaped upon me as a proud Black American woman and speed up the ongoing invisibility I experience through ageism.

Then, I heard my other inner voice say f*** everybody else, do what brings you joy. Enjoy your own humanity. Other people’s disdain, dislikes, and -isms are their f***Ing problem, not yours. What other people think of me is not my gotdamn business. And then I two strand twisted my hair, showered over and over wetting my hair, and I let it loc up at the ends. It feels so soft. I feel sexy. Each loc is a beacon of perfect imperfection. Each day I gently rub my hands in my starter locs as through they were Faberge eggs. I treat them as treasures because the freedom to be me from my follicles to my toes is intoxicating.

IDGAF about anyone’s opinions of me, anymore. That’s the beauty of aging and wisdom. Eventually, you learn to love yourself. As you are. Scars, imperfections and all.

So my starter locs are a gift of freedom and adoration to myself. I don’t care if they grow long. I only care that they’re healthy. I only care that I am happy. And at the end of each day I will gently inspect each loc. As I lay in the ambient light of the television at night, it will become a loving ritual to where I adore my locs a little bit more each day.

I raise my glass to the beauty of Black American locs and to our steps towards enjoying our Blackness and personal freedom.