By: Cecile Anthony-Bryan

As India Arie stated in her song “I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am just the soul that lives within!”  Society teaches us to appreciate and cherish our outer beauty, but very few are raised knowing that their true beauty lies within them.  We have seen some of the most beautiful women and men and their looks keep you in awe, but then reality kicks in and you realize these same beautiful people have been through numerous relationships/marriages, have sold their soul to the devil to get to the top and/or their life has been taken from them as kids from people they trusted.  Society would have you make up excuses for these people because they are just too beautiful to be wrong. Well WRONG!  Those people had beautiful outsides, but their insides were filled with dirty spirits, insecurities, misconception of life, etc.

I was never a street person and I remember deciding to hang out and the guys all swarmed probably thinking “fresh meat!”  To them and my girlfriend’s surprise, I was un-phased.  Because I did not show interest in the cars, the looks and the gifts, I was called conceited and such and even as a young girl, I was misunderstood.  They could not understand how those things did not interest me.  Later on, I was told by my girlfriend, that her mother told her to take care of her hair because it is her beauty.  She spent her weekends at the hairdresser with her mother and I spent my time, throwing mines up in a pony-tail.  I was not the one to hang out with.  Well WRONG!  I remember the countless times that friend with the good hair, I had to come to her rescue.

I have seen women who spend time doing their hair, their nails done and the baddest dresses when they show up on the scene (party or club), but how many of those women truly love themselves?  All of them, WRONG.  If you spend most of your time critiquing others, shopping for the flyest shoes, and leaving your class at home, how much do you truly love yourself?  To each its own, but you should spend more time on trips, off the scene and showing your daughter how to be a lady.

As a woman of color, I am not defined by my hair.  Granted I have always taken care of it, but it is not what defines me.  As a young girl, I spent a lot of time alone and that allowed me to get to know me and to love me.  I learned that maintenance was good, but it was not my priority.  People will think that either because I work hard, I don’t have time to treat myself or that since I am married, I am set in my way and comfortable. Well WRONG!  I don’t not do much to my hair, because a few years back, I was diagnosed with Alopecia.  Aside from the fact that I was tender-headed, this added to me not over-treating my hair.  Contrary to the stories I have heard, so many have said how lucky and fortunate that I to this day have a full head of hair.  Yes, I am, but I also believe I am blessed.  Thankful that it was caught early, I was not too sickly and that the various treatments worked.  Painful, but worth it.  So many people will think that I am beautiful but I would be more beautiful if I did my hair, I am doing my hair just fine and giving it a natural look with minimal heat and lots of oils and conditioning.  See, I love my hair, but I Am Not My Hair.