United States
39° 57' 20.4948" N, 82° 56' 2.4792" W

We press it, cut it, blow it out, and pin it up
We change our texture because it’s not desirable
We dye it as the trends change
And we die a little more ourselves each time
We throw away our natural beauty for a thing called fashion
So silky smooth long hair is what’s considered attractive
We are ashamed of our curls and pray to god we don’t end up with baby girls
Because who wants to be responsible for their hair which obviously determines her life and position in society.
So all the sisters I know go looking for a mixed brother with nice hair to pass on these genes
But you don’t understand my problem, you can wash your hair and go, you have good hair
Can someone please define this good hair thing for me?
Is it cutting it all off and then sewing in 18 inches of weave that was given up by a woman for a higher purpose, spirituality
Could it be melting the curls God gave us to get the curls in a magazine
Or is it straightening it until we see smoke with the smell just as distinctive of the stench of death on which we choke
Why do we worship an obviously photo shopped image of this perfect long haired Goddess
Who clearly never gets any spilt ends, and has never experienced a thing called
Frizz, can wake up, shake it and walk out in the world without a care
Meanwhile we know that it will take us a few hundred dollars and 2 or more hours to prepare
Why is it that our identity lies in our hair
Is it our opinion or is it the men around us
And if we’ve learned anything through the history of hair it’s that in men we trust
Marcel used tongs, Charles used cow urine and water
Eugene used a machine, Garrett gave us the relaxer
and each time we used it on our daughters
But we criticize those who chose to go natural because that is so much crazier
Than putting chemicals in our hair that can blind us or if left in too long can burn
Our scalp or even break it all off, but it’s worth it even though have to train our
Hair to submit to these chemicals in the same way we bow down to what is
Deemed presentable
So is going natural just a choice or is a battle cry
Asking every woman in the world to stop obsessing over hair
because after all long hair, short hair after 15 minutes no one really cares
But we can dye it another color and try to pretend that we aren’t the color we
actually are
because if it’s straight we want curly, and curly we want straight
and our relationship with it is somewhere between love and hate
we can’t stand it in the mornings but can’t live without it
we refuse to go out if it’s not done, to me it’s all a little childish
when I look in the mirror and I see straight hair, I don’t see me
I see a girl struggling with trying to fit in to society and her true identity
because her hair was meant to be curly that’s why it fights the flat iron
and no matter how often she cuts it, it always grows back
and the sun changes its color from brown to reddish brown to black
and that’s okay because how God made it and He makes no mistakes
so you can change yours if you want to but what he gives I’ll take.


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741