Hair As Identity Menu


Judgment for nappy heads

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My fear of water raised its ugly head the other day. Not for me but for my daughter. She was having a ball at aftercare and I’d just gone to pick her up. At that moment, her teacher took out a garden hose and started spraying it in the air for the children to play in. Their delighted shrieks rang throughout the air and I had to stop myself from running to my daughter and snatching her out of the watery game.

I had to talk to myself, “WAITTTT! Tina!!!! What are you doing? This nappy-head aversion is DEEP! Are you really going to rob your child of fun because you don’t want her hair to nap up from the water?” I must admit I was ambivalent: on one hand I don’t want her to fear water the way that I do (yes, I’m still working through that) but, on the other hand, I don’t want to have to redo her hair every day. Guess what? There is a happy medium, I brushed her hair and kept right on going. She has kinky hair and I don’t think every strand was meant to lie down upon command.

I realize that I still have an image of what a little girl’s hair should look like: pulled into neat sections that allow puffs or twists to sprout. Plus, if I’m honest, I know that the appearance of my daughter’s hair implicates my motherhood. I don’t want somebody crinkling their nose and gritting on me (wow, did I really go back to the 80s for that term? For those who don’t know, it means to give someone a look of strong disapproval when they do something stupid or bad) because my daughter’s hair is “a mess”.

Wow, I need to grow up. What about you all? Can you relate to this situation? Please share your stories.

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