Recently Tamar Braxton surprised the public by shaving her head. She posted the pic on her Instagram with a caption that read in part, “freedom”. Though an unexpected move from the songstress, I found it refreshing and think she looks wonderful. Hair is a big deal for black women and I can completely relate to the new found feeling of liberation by forgoing wigs, weaves and other hair accouterments that many black women utilize to complete their look.
I have nothing against “magic hair” and understand that many black women rely on it to feel their best. For some it’s a necessity as they’ve experienced damage by relaxers, styling, medications and stress that results in unhealthy hair. I get it. But I can completely understand not wanting to feel as if you’re reliant on it to put your best foot forward.
I was once on a medication that caused alopecia. Every other year for a long time my hair would come out. It was horrible, especially because I couldn’t identify the cause. It got so bad I had to wear weaves or hair pieces to fill out my hair. I was devastated and thought I’d have to live with the time consuming inconvenience of never being able to wear my own hair out. Then finally, I got answers.
I connected with a doctor who identified that it was my medication and prescribed a different one. My hair grew back and I have a great, full head of healthy hair. And wearing my own hair whenever I want without pieces feels amazing. As a black woman I have so many options with different styles, and can also feel confident and free with my own tresses.
Tamar’s post made me think about other ways to feel liberated. As black women I think we are often looking for ways to generate liberating experiences. Here are four quick tips to help create a more liberated life.
Tell Your Truth
Stop holding your tongue and set the truth free. Speak your feelings to that person who hurt or disappointed you. Stop protecting the feelings of others and sacrificing your own. Clearly and confidently state your feelings and your needs. This takes courage, but you can do it and you will feel unburdened afterwards.
Do What the Hell You Want
Stop worrying about others’ opinions of you and your life. If you’re a grown ass woman taking care of yourself and paying your own way, do want you want. Be smart, be safe and be your own person.
Don’t Do What You Don’t Want
Drop that class, quit that group, tell that annoying person you don’t want to hang out. Stop doing sh*t you don’t like to do!
Be Yourself, With no Apologies
There’s nothing more liberating than being exactly who you are. Be outspoken, quiet, weird, shy, awkward, exciting, subdued, dynamic whatever. You’ve earned the right to be yourself and be comfortable with who you are with no apologies. To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes from Jada Pinkett Smith, when you accept yourself, you give others no choice. Be you and be kind.
Congrats to Tamar Braxton for taking what was probably a big step and freeing herself from the maintenance of “magic hair” and stepping into a more liberated space. I suspect her new ‘do represents more than just hair and is about connecting her more authentic self and living life on her terms. And there’s nothing more liberating than that.
What do you do to feel free?