The Night Before and Afro Was Born

Midnight. After a night of fashion partying with the gays, my good friend Jon Valdez came back to my place. OH EM GEE! He’s a big furry care bear from Texas who wears bow ties and blogs about celebs and OM EM GEE-ness at, homegirl making it happen in the glorious land of New York City.

I fed him dinner (the Michelle Joni Crispy Ham, Avocado, Sunny-Side Up Egg and Multi-Cheese Sandwich Special), we hung out for a bit, and then after catching up on dreams, passions, careers and Britney Spears, we decided it’d be a fun activity to see how my outfit that night would have looked with the fro. To see how that one accessory would magically change the entire aesthetic. And to document it, of course.


I hopped on my bed first for some blondie poses. WHEEE! A spontaneous fashion shoot begins in one of my favorite places on earth – my bed! You should know: I believe ONLY in spontaneous photo shoots.

I love taking pictures but I also love being photographed. I want the camera to keep snapping and snapping and snapping and snapping. It’s an invigorating and empowering feeling, knowing that your movements and expressions will not pass you by – they will be frozen in time for you to reminisce later. You can relive. You can speculate. You can edit down.

It’s also an extraordinary exhibit of vulnerability to be photographed. Letting loose to melt into the most relaxed and natural poses your body knows. To know that the person on the other end of the lens is very aware of your movements, your awkwardness, your energy; what is sexy and what is unnatural; flattering versus fattening. Whatever is being captured is transparently YOU. To accept and be comfortable with that is to be very courageous.

I believe everyone should push past their comfort zone and try it – for their own mental and emotional growth. Vulnerability is sexy.

AND THEN: Through the loose lips of my quippy Texan bloggity bug came the words: “It’s like, before and afro.”

Whoah. I shuttered. Did he just say BEFORE…


My heart skipped, skipped a beat. It was genius. My mind immediately jetted to the reoccurring craving I’d been mulling over all summer long: The ravenous desire to start blogging again.

There was the self-photography tumblr I almost started in June. In July there was that other grand master tumblr plan to revive Devil Sticks from the nineties. I realized now the ideas weren’t bad, they just weren’t ripe. They were fragments, waiting to be pieced together at the absolute perfect time.

It had been three years since my last personal blogging stint/stunt… and I knew it, I just knew it. This was next.

The afro (and the events and happenstance surrounding it) had changed my life in just a matter of weeks. I had a new whole new understanding of myself. New eyes looking both outwards and inwards. YES, the afro absolutely deserved to be the central gravitational theme of my life story!

Hit the Macbook, GoDaddy-it rapid fire,… OH EM GEE it’s available!!! How is this possible!?

Jon tried to talk me out of it. “You are going to run a blog called ‘before and afro?’ This is the kind of thing people wake from the morning after and think, WTF did I smoke last night?”

Nevermind your jibber jabber! To be fair, he didn’t know the whole backstory. And yeah, it is a lil bit kray kray. But my mind was made up.

I bought it immediately, hugging and squeezing it in my mind, knowing this was the start of something amazing—an insanely honest dialogue between me and myself.

My kooky, afro-wearing, devil stick playing, narcissistic photo-obsessed self.

With so many befores in life… everything’s an afro.


Dress: Vintage, from Beatnix in Boystown, Chicago. Got this slouchy slice of beaded amazingness about a month ago, and this was my first night out in it. Ain’t nothing like the first wear, baby!
Purple headscarf: Vintage, from Mom or Grandma, or pulled from some big silk scarf impulse box near the thrift store checkout, or from whoever happened to leave the scarf at my place, bequeathing it to me at some unknown point in our past. Whoever or whatever it was, thanks! This was my first time wearing that, too.

Photography (and geniusness!) by Jonathan Valdez. Love you pookie!

PS. Which is better with this outfit: Blonde or Afro!?

13 thoughts on “The Night Before and Afro Was Born

  1. So you put on an afro and immediately start throwing gang signs and snarling? Seriously? And you want people to believe that there’s nothing racist about this?

  2. You are seriously a wack. “Haha look at me being kooky..” “which is better..” “I have no idea of my privilege and I think that I can freely mock others while feigning to be exploratory..” “I have the luxury of taking off this curly nasty hair and not have a nappy mess to deal with – see, here my long soft blond hair…” this is obviously a big source of amusement to you, but you are disrespectful and ultimately the mockery is the one you are making of yourself. Hopefully somebody punches your bs hipster racist self in the face very soon. Go wear that junk in the Bronx and see how see how incredible everybody thinks you are.

  3. You are the worst. Wildly self-centered and up your own ass, people of color call you out on being offensive and you act like it’s just a random difference of opinion. Ugh, seriously?

  4. This is only the fourth of your posts I have read (Let’s Get Real, Fro’d Chicken, and My Foray Into Womanhood). I was lead to your page by a Facebook friend who commented on the Lets Get Real post. I want to echo the underlying sentiments many of my fellow African- American sisters have already shared: that you can learn more about other cultures in less offensive and more authentic ways, and that it is upsetting that you persist to defend your intent rather than truly look at the ramifications of your actions. I am going to appeal to you respectfully as a fellow human being. I hope that you are truly genuine about wanting to understand others, affect positive change for yourself and others, and proceed on a life journey. If so, you have to understand how the ego works. It works so hard at defending itself that it denies everything that threatens its survival. Even well meaning, generally good people have these egos. Acknowledge that. That is a real journey, one that will affect greater change than putting on an offensive facade.

    • What possible “ramifications” of her actions are there? She is wearing a wig and acting in a way she enjoys. Either people around her do to, or, they do not in which case any and all possible ramifications that might happen from her actions will happen to her. If people around her IRL don’t like it, they’ll stop hanging with her. That is just about the only possible ramification for her actions. Anyone claiming anything more than that is just showing they bought into the 1970s radical socio-ideology kool-aid.

      • Hello again Greg,

        Heres a ramification – she is portraying those who read and support her blog that this is an authentic way to go about her ‘intentions’. Its not; its racist.
        Close but no cigar, once again.

  5. Your facial expressions while wearing the wig speak volumes about how you view Afros or those who wear them naturally on their heads. Gangsta, scary, quirky, horny? These are all the stereotypes that are applied to people of African descent in general, especially those who do not hide their culture behind “White” standards of beauty. When I wear my hair in ya natural state (naturally it is a fro) or pick it out into a fluffier fro, it is looked at as novelty (a throwback, a relic, or something exotic), or something undesirable (radical, untamed, dirty, not beautiful). The way you portray the Afro reinforces these beliefs. That is harmful. I agree with another comment on another post. If you truly mean what you say about your intent behind wearing the Afro, fully commit and wear a more realistic one all the time (even if I wore that one, it would be clear that its fake). It is something totally different to live with it. Take your ego out of the equation. Peace.

  6. Are you out of your fucking gourd? Is this because you want a book deal? You want to be on Regis? What the fuck is wrong with you?

    How many people need to tell you they’re offended by your bullshit before you’ll concede the point that people are entitled to take offense at dimwitted, narcissistic racism?

  7. I didn’t know what to think of you when I looked at this blog… after reading THIS post, now I do: This shallow, cringe-worthy, narcissistic post is the ONLY honest thing on this whole site. In your own words:

    – You love attention.
    – It was your “next internet stunt.”
    – Your ‘idea’ came from acting a fool drunk, and when you sobered up you were no brighter
    – You are obviously mocking the wig, acting like an animal, thug etc.

    You are not fooling anyone by pretending you want to learn from black people’s experiences.

    You are a disgusting narcissist and I pity your desperate ploy for 15 minutes of attention. Time’s just about up.

  8. I didn’t know this “afro thing” or natural hair, was an issue only cared about by African-American women. This has been very educating.

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