Acceptance is Not Equivalent to Self-Love By: Bryanda Author and Founder of Quirky Brown Love
When I first decided to go natural years ago, I was super excited about exploring the texture of my hair, one that I had not seen since I was a young child. I spent hours on natural hair blogs drooling over the luscious loose curls of established naturals and I couldn’t wait to reach this level of amazing hair awesomeness. So, I took the plunge and did the big chop with the hopes that natural finger curls would start sprouting from my head and that I would have the easy life of wash and gos. Four years later, a spiral curl has never naturally grown from this head of hair and my few attempts at a wash-and-go were so bad, they would make my grandmamma cry if she ever saw them. I have kinky hair and I would just have to accept it.
So, I did just that: I just accepted the fact that I had kinky hair. I accepted that there were hairstyles that would never quite look right because I didn’t have a texture for it and I accepted that if I didn’t have at least a few hours’ notice about an event, I probably wasn’t going to attend. I would even chime in on jokes about how difficult my hair must be to manage and talk about how horrible my shrinkage is. I accepted a lot of things in my life that I felt were out of my control. After years of dealing with self-image issues, I accepted the fact that I have a small frame and smaller curves than what is expected of Black woman. I accepted my big nose and the pigment of my skin, and that was that. I thought of this acceptance as the end of my journey to self-love. I thought I was happy. I thought that because I accepted that this is how it was, the acceptance would directly translate to self-love. The truth is, however, I didn’t really love myself as much as I thought I did. When I would see someone with a looser hair pattern than mine or a more developed body or a smaller nose, I would think “man, they are so lucky.” It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that my “acceptance” of myself stemmed from the perception that I was lacking something. I felt that I had to accept my coarse hair, my small curves and my big nose because I couldn’t naturally change them and I didn’t want to feel that people who had these things had a “one up” on me.
Overtime, I began to reach beyond accepting myself and started truly loving myself. The things that I thought were holding me back actually began to separate me in my eyes from the sea of perfectly filtered and captured Instagrammers. Instead of asking God why I wasn’t born with what I thought I wanted, I started praising and thanking him for caring so much in blessing me with everything that I needed to succeed in this life and still managing to make me one cool and quirky chick. The road to self-love is not a straight path and at times it seems that the random occurrences in life will cause you to start walking backwards the moment that you feel that you are ahead. It’s human nature for these feelings to occur. Whenever you start feeling down about your appearance, just remember…the unreasonably hot people always die first in scary movies! In all seriousness, if you are living on this Earth, it is because you have a purpose in life so don’t let society’s twisted standards of beauty determine your self-worth. So steam passed that first step of self-acceptance and build on to achieving self-love.