Today is a very nice day so far, though when I first got up, I realized about halfway through Stella's breakfast that I was so tired. I tried putting music on, that didn't really help. I eventually had to get up and out - Stella and I went for a walk while her Papa slumbered peacefully, got a nice masala chai on ice from the local café, and strolled about the neighborhood. We tried a new playground (which was nice - lots of running around room and tall, older trees), and eventually, the caffeine kicked in, and I woke up.
I've been reading a lot of blogs this week - it's turned into a bit of a low-grade addiction. There's so freakin' many, just infinite blogoshpere - I love it. I love that there's so much blogging going on that worrying about totally original ideas is pointless, because someone, somewhere is talking about what you're talking about, and that's totally cool! Of course, we all put our own spin on whatever, but I think it's freeing. Spending so much time blogging has really highlighted the whole mama guilt thing for me, though, because practically any time I spend that isn't engaging Stella somehow, part of me feels guilty about it. Intellectually, I know I shouldn't, because I spend all kinds of time reading and talking and nursing and playing, but the guilt lives deep inside. I fight it. It's an ongoing issue. Anyway, I've been having fun with the blog reading, and here's a few of my recent favorites:Bitch, Ph.D.Angry Black BitchSusie Bright's Blog
The hair issue has been coming up again and again for me. I've been trying to reconcile with my hair, make peace and get into a new groove. I realized that I'll be entering back into the professional sphere, and that I need to "do somethin' with my head" as it were. So I went to Nappturality.com (which is SO AWESOME!), and found some nice natural hair care articles and recipes, and as I was going through it all, I realized the extent to which my hair and me had kind of parted ways.
After I started grad school, I pretty much let my hair go. The program was super-intense, and really, who the fuck has the time? I've never been much for hair care - my own personal hairstyling history is one of suffering and humiliation, so I have a deep aversion to dealing with my hair at all. But when I started my dredlocks (or rather, when Vonetta started my dredlocks), I was so happy to be committing to a hair relationship that I could deal with. Fast-forward 7 years, and I'm in school again, busting my ass, wrapping a scarf around my fuzzy roots and fantasizing about having enough time or money to go to a salon and have it taken care of. On top of that, come 2nd semester, I find out I'm pregnant, and proceed to be so exhausted that the idea of washing and twisting my hair seems like a joke.
So, now I'm making up with my hair - we've enjoyed a couple of lovely herbal rinses together, some shampooing, olive oil and vigorous scalp massage and scratching. Life is better with a happy scalp and clean, well fed dreds. I've also started taking my vitamins again, for healthier scalp, to discourage dandruff.
But I realized, for all of the noble feeling I had about my dreds, I wasn't taking very good care of them (i.e., me). And after spending time reading the stuff on Nappturality.com, I realized that I was still subjecting myself to unnecessary hair terror. I had convinced myself that taking care of my hair could only be an ordeal, that it was a pain and a nuissance and not worth the time, compared to all of the other important things I was doing. I guess I never quite outgrew that piece of hair trauma, and was applying my old feelings to my new hair situation.
I wrote a paper about this during my final year of undergrad. I was supposed to write about a textile, but I didn't find one in time, so I figured my hair was interesting enough to pull off a final paper when I was pressed for time. I recently revised the paper, and since I started that, I've been coming upon hair stories, connections, etc. Among the blogs I've been reading, I've read a couple of good stories - one on The Angry Black Woman's blog
, and an excellent post about not touching black women's hair on Anovelista.com.
Then yesterday, I got an email from a friend about a documentary that's been made on black women's hair.
I'm annoyed, 'cause our computer doesn't do streaming video so well, so I haven't been able to finish watching it (Also, it's in about 5 parts). From what I did see, and from what I read in the comments, there seems to be a lot of focus on how Koreans are taking money from black communities. I can't comment on exactly what the video says about that, but a comment on the general concept:
For fuck's sake. Koreans face discrimination in this country - all people of color do in some form. They are no better and no worse than anyone else, and I seriously doubt they're running a deliberate campaign to keep us down by selling us beauty products. They're running a deliberate campaign to take care of themselves in a country where they could get screwed at any minute, like the rest of us. If people have seriously problems with Koreans (or any non-black people) selling them beauty supplies, nobody says they have to buy the beauty supplies. Go find a black-owned store. If it's worth the complaining, it must be worth the extra trip. Or better still, change your lifestyle, stop perming, lose the extensions, the pressing and curling irons, the gels and sprays, etc... Go au natural, save some cash and invest it. Or save up, start your own beauty supply store, and take that money from the people in your own community (because I guess it's not a waste of our resources if black people sell hair junk to each other). Maybe people should look away from the Koreans (or whomever) and look in there mirror.
Anyway. I actually gotta wrap this up, 'cause we're going to a birthday party, and I should help with the leaving-house prep. Perhaps I'll revisit this later on. It's just been on my mind and I wanted to get my thoughts out.
Peace & hair grease,