When I was four, I wore pants on my head. I would run around the house pretending my hair was made of zippers and crushed velvet. In an attempt to find beauty of a varying grain, I neglected the texture of my own hair and pocketed it beneath hems.
When I was in sixth grade, I knew a woman who was shaped like a bell. Her boobs were bigger than her head and I often wondered how she kept her balance. Determined to figure out the physics of her, I never missed a moment to telescope her image whenever my mother invited her over. I was particularly interested in her artificial ponytail, which I eventually won in a game of spades.
She taught me how to brush my hair back into a bun. This quickly became a test of strength to see if I could stretch my curls straight enough to match the texture of my winnings. With every tug of my hair, my eyes felt like they were moving higher and higher up my face. I do not remember exactly why I took this as a sign to carry on. When I finally achieved the perfectly sculpted bun, I was eager to be noticed and applauded for such rapid hair growth.
Years have passed and had it not been for my complimentary uncles, a few honest movies (Sankofa) and the many church-going women who proudly wore all shades of their natural hair, I would probably still be walking the streets with pants on my head or eyes in my scalp.
Visual reminders are important to the economy of black women’s self-esteem. Though this has yet to be empirically studied, I’d like to bet you five dollars and a graduate degree that I can come close to proving this. Taste a bit of logic: When taken into account the personality of a mirror neuron (a physiological ingredient that helps us to adopt new behaviors after witnessing them), they become an integral factor to the curation of esteem. Place a few of your mirror neurons in front of a popular reality television show where images of women with silky hair outnumber those of women with hair like linen or fleece and you have yourselves a pool of black women who refuse to get their hair wet.
Which brings me to klassykinks.tumblr.com. No, this site does not involve bondage of any kind unless it requires a rubber band or bobby pin tousling across a hairline.
Courtesy of by Ijeoma Eboh, a Harvard University grad who has studied the history of science, with a focus in history of Medicine, and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy, Klassy Kinks is a blog consistent in its depiction of Black women who wear natural beauty as though they were never instructed to do otherwise.
I urge anyone interested in loving black women to visit Ijeoma’s blog and let your neurons feed you a new perspective of texture. Enjoy!