Dear African Woman…..’You Are Not Good Enough’

Model, Aamito LagumImage: Chano8 “Dear African Woman, Why must we have this conversation over and over again? Why can’t you just accept our facts about you? Facts about how unimportant you are to the general scheme of things? Facts about how your physical attributes are repulsive and unappealing? Facts that show the world that YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH?! Do you want us to go through this drill again? Do you want us to lay all the facts on the table? Didn’t you beg us to stop…to have mercy…to leave you alone? Well, now we are pissed. Maybe you need a reminder that you are unattractive, ugly, and dirty and you should be ashamed of yourself. Look at your hair. Oh that ugliness! Look at THAT nappy, unruly, unkempt, dull, kinky and coarse hair. We have told you times without number to straighten that hair. We have told you again and again that we will not let you into our companies, our schools, our parties or our magazines with that hair! Why don’t you listen?! Straighten that hair! Wear a weave! Stop following Viola Davis or Blue Ivy or that nonsense you call the #NaturalHairMovement. If you want us to accept you, then you MUST ensure that your hair looks like ours; long, silky, glossy, shiny and best of all, straight! And what is it with that nose?! Do you want to drag people’s souls in?! That flare is just too wide! Dr. Paul Nassif is a renowned rhinoplasty surgeon and he can fix that for you; if you can cough up the money. Gosh, you are just sucking up ALL the oxygen in here! Gosh, is it your plan to asphyxiate us all? Goddamn it! You would think that is the only thing wrong with you until eyes fall on those thick lips. If we were to take pictures of only your lips and rotate them either to the right or left, it would look like cellulite buttocks and you know that is UNAPPEALING! We see your lips and cannot help but think of thick slices of steak. You want to be treated like Aamito Lagum? Trust me, we can make it happen! You know what? We are tempted to finish this conversation with our backs turned to you but we are willing to make this huge sacrifice for humanity by continuing to sear this horrible image to our brain. Your breasts we can deal with but your buttocks?! Why does it have to be so thick?! So FAT?! So…primitive! Don’t you know that small and perky is the ONLY way a woman’s buttocks should be? Again, I can make contacts with Dr. Terry Dubrow and maybe – just maybe – he can turn this wide girth into something palatable. Yes, liposuction is hard but it must be easier than living with all these flaws. And the worst of them all is your skin ‘hue’; if we can call it that with a straight face. In fact, let us say it as it is; YOU ARE BLACK! Your skin color is just wrong! It looks dirty and we conclude that it is dirty! Gosh! We have given you so many options; you can use creams, injections, drugs and even laser treatments to get that dirty skin off but you wouldn’t! We have sent some of your sisters – Dencia, many Nollywood actresses, Nigerian and African celebrities – with perfect examples of what you could look like and yet, you somehow resist. We are tired of you! Do you love our ridicule?! Do you bask in our derision?! Why are you so stubborn?! Though I said your skin color is the worst, your weight comes a close second. Miss big-boned, fat slob! Lose some weight! Be like us! We are slim, we are sexy and we are glamorous! You on the other hand, blah! We want to puke! We can tolerate your sisters who are celebrities – Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Amber Rose, Blac China – because their skin color is as close to ours as is possible. We can forgive anything but a black skin. This is the last time we will tell you this. As long as you continue to be stubborn, we will not feature you in our movies, our TV shows, in our magazines, our charts, our award shows and the glamorous red carpets, our billboard ads and in our stories of success. We will exclude you from all our well carved happy stories, our human projections and our standards for beauty. We will ensure that you are not brand ambassadors to anything and if you persist, we will only push harder…and harder….and harder, until you break, until you give up, until you accept that BLACK IS NOT BEAUTIFUL! This is the last time we will bring this up. With Venom, World Racist Confederation.”   Amara la NegraImage: EGL Dear World Racist Confederation, We have received your venom over and over and like you, we like to say it as it is: FUCK YOU RIGHT BACK! You said our hair is not good enough for you, right? Well…it may shock you to know but, we are okay with it! We refuse to be bullied into thinking that our natural hair is unappealing! We love it that way; that is what makes us different from the rest of the world! In fact, all our features are so unique that we cannot help but call you out on your envy. And yes, Viola Davis showed you that our hair is awesome! It must have hurt to have a natural haired African woman on one of the top tier television shows today. We bless Beyonce for putting our black, fluffy, puffy hair on world stage! Ladies, let’s get in formation! And we are not just in your movies; we are walking your fashion runways. Go ask Maria Borges who made history by walking the Victoria Secret show with her natural hair. Hey World Racist Confederation, read up a little…or

I Am My Hair….and So Much More!

What my hair looks like most days. ‘I am not my hair I am not this skin I am not your expectations, no (hey) I am not my hair I am not this skin I am the soul that lives within’ India Arie – I Am Not My Hair Lyrics | MetroLyrics One of my all-time favorite songs is ‘I Am Not My Hair’ by India Arie featuring Akon. It was a song that was as necessary as it was deep. India Arie addressed some of the issues faced by African Americans, especially as it related to hair. India Arie and Akon spoke about different hairstyles the typical African American has had to try, stick to or dump just to fit in to the rigorous demands of a society that is racist to black people. Having done all that, she came to the conclusion that she was so much more than her hair. It is easy to take the lyrics literally and assume she was just talking about hair but the detail is in the depth. That song has been a great inspiration in every area of my life. At this point in my life though, I believe it is time to change the lyrics of this iconic song a bit. It should go like this; I AM MY HAIR…AND SO MUCH MORE! You may be wondering why I am taking that stance. I will explain in a minute. I always had long hair. It is not as long as I want it to be but it is long regardless. Okay, conceited Ramat! No need to rub it in! When I was younger, my hair was much softer than my sisters’. That isn’t to say that it isn’t still as bushy and thorny as your typical African hair. I remember when we were younger and would go to braid our hair and have the women complain about our ‘iron sponge’ hair. In fact, we were usually charged higher than other ladies because of our hair. When I was about 10 and saw girls with ‘relaxed’ hair, I wanted hair like that! I knew it would save me a ton of trouble if my hair was smoother, straighter and less of a ‘bush’. I suggested to my mum that she lets us relax our hair. The look she gave me was enough to melt frozen butter. I jejely carried myself away from her presence. No need to add a knock to an already tender head. When I got to the university, I finally relaxed my hair! The process was painful; excruciatingly so. My scalp was burned and each time the conditioner came in contact with the open wound, I would wince. The feeling was worse when they used water. When they finally washed the relaxer out, I had to grit my teeth to prevent myself from crying. In summary, it was really awful! When they were done though, my hair was silky soft, smooth and a comb ran through it…without breaking! I was pretty impressed with my new hair. I felt renewed and trust me to leave it flying so I could torment people with its length. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized why I felt good about my relaxed hair. I will get into that in a bit. I was told to ‘retouch’ my hair once a month to get rid of the ‘undergrowth’ and ensure that my hair remains ‘beautiful’. I knew I was not going to do what was suggested. Why in the world would I want to go through that pain EVERY MONTH?! I decided that I would retouch my hair once every three months. By the time I was in 200L, I was tired of the pain I had to face every time I retouched my hair, so I pushed it to once every six months. By 300L, I was not retouching my hair at all. The relaxed hair fell out after months of neglect until only the tips of my hair were ‘relaxed’. When I got to 400L, I decided I would brave the pain again and relax my hair. I went to my stylist and after much consultation, she advised me to get a relaxer kit. She assured me it would not be as harsh as the other relaxers I had used. I did as I was told and had my hair done. Did it hurt again? OH HELL YEAH! Maybe even worse! I didn’t have as much burns and injuries as I did before but it still hurt like hell. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to continue this process. Yes, my hair was softer, easier to manage and straight (as was the trend of the time) but it meant I had to nurse wounds for days after every touch-up. In 2012, just before I graduated from the university, I became more aware of what I wanted to do with my life. I started to see Africa as it was, as it is….and as it can be. I knew I was going to work on issues surrounding racism, especially as it affects Africans and people of African descent. When I made this life decision, I knew I had to work on my self-worth and esteem. That included accepting my physical traits just as they are. It was on that day that I decided I was never going to relax my hair with chemicals again. For a second time, I let the old hair fall out. This time though, as the new hair started growing, it came out tougher, coarser and much thornier than ever before. By this time, the #NaturalHairMovement had gained momentum and almost every black girl was going natural. I usually don’t like to do things everyone is doing so I felt like retouching the hair again. That would have been an excuse to renege on my new decision and I knew it. Another option was to do the ‘big chop’ but with my big body,

Quick Links

Find Us:

Beaufort Court Estate,

Lugbe, Abuja.

Call Us: