Last night at a dinner party I had a bit of a conversation with a woman of color who is opposed to what I am doing. (Not this dreadlocked* beauty above – she loves it!) I get varying feedback, which will come up in posts throughout the eternity of this blog, but thought I should address some of my thoughts today – this warm, sunny #FollowFROday.
I am aware.
Very aware that the name and concept of my blog is jarring and provocative. I know the fact that I’m a white Jewish blonde running around town with a fro does not sit comfortably with all.
I know that women of color do not have the option of taking off their fro at night to have long, soft, blonde hair.
There is a ton of political and personal weight here. While many of my black friends are all for it, I have been advised against doing this altogether by others. I am aware.
The thing about me is, though, I have always been misunderstood. Misunderstood by groups of friends, people who know me from afar, and even by myself. I have always had people who dislike me, who push back on my ideas, and who don’t appreciate me. As I learn to wean these negative forces out of my life and seek only the opposite, there is still an underlying inkling of comfort I feel from not being fully understood and accepted.
The other more apparent element here is the racial sensitivity issue. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone. I have such love for human beings – as a whole and individually. If I could talk to new and interesting and different people all day, my life would be very rich.
The point is, and I take this verbatim from my first piece of random fan mail (Love ya, Kenny!)
Anyways, I really appreciated the honesty of your blog and saw it deeper than just “Hey I wear an afro”
I am in the process of creating more substance in my life and soul, and that’s all for me. I want people to have to dig a little bit harder to find it. If someone wants to take a look at my blog and judge me as racially insensitive, they did not go deep. Just like you can’t understand me as a person just by taking a look at me, I don’t want it to be that easy for my online self either.
I’m not “The Fashionista Blog,” I am something far more obscure and unplaceable. Just like in real life.
Why do this whole self-blogging thing if not to hook and line in the exact people who are drawn to your energy and can SEE you – and like you – for exactly who you are? Even – and especially – if that person is ballsy enough to walk the political tightrope of wearing a symbol of someone else’s culture – because that was a genuine and profound and very real experience for her?
I have made it my business and duty to learn all I can about the culture from which I am borrowing, and its rich, empowering history. That is part of this journey too – a place I never would have otherwise had a real reason to go.
My beautiful natural haired black readers – my gorgeous weaves, dreads, relaxed, and shaved alike – I would love to hear any of your insight or suggestions so that I may become more and more sensitive as to what’s important to you. And THANK YOU for this gorgeous hairstyle!
PS. Check out the spotlight on Omega Sirius Moon in NYMag!
*CORRECTION! The woman featured in the first photo is not dreadlocked – those are Box Braids. “Poetic justice braids” in slang. Thanks Carolyn for your help!