Why I Relate to the Girls of Pretoria High School

“These young girls standing their ground towards a senior organization impressed me more than these students can imagine.”

In 2016, a number of students at Pretoria High school in South Africa protested against their school’s administration, because they were told that it was not acceptable to wear their hair in its natural state.

Their actions proved that while history can repeat itself, it also shows that throughout the years the black community has and will consistently prove that western beauty ideals are wrong. Considering that the media has a big influence on the younger generation, it is great to see that these students are making a strong statement.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF DAILY MAVERICK/GREG NICOLSON

Nothing hurts worse than the feeling you get when hearing that a natural feature of yours is not beautiful and that it needs to be “corrected.”  At the age of six years old, I received my first relaxer and this would continue to be done every 3 months or so. I remember the burn I felt and hating the times that I had to sit beneath the heat of a dryer, instead of playing outside with my friends.

Even though, my hair was “special” and “precious,” I wished I had straight hair like my peers. Sometimes I would even envy my classmates, because at least their hair was naturally straight, unlike mine. In my perception my hair was solely beautiful due to the extra efforts taken and my classmates did not have to go through the same struggles as me.

At some point a few classmates questioned whether my hair was naturally straight also.

“Yes,” I lied.

“Well, then you are lucky, because black hair is not beautiful” one of them responded. And there it was, the feeling of shame you have when your natural features is considered a negative trait.

Read the whole article @NaturallyCurly.com

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