The bias in the natural hair “community” is apparent. When I walk down the aisles of beauty supply stores all I see are pictures of women with big curls, long hair and slick edges. There has been an enormous rise of people going natural and companies are noticing the trend. This massive moment in the hair industry has unmistakably left out the more kinky and coarse textures. There is a diversity in the natural hair community and all textures should be celebrated.

Mainstream media have found a new way to divide black women. Recently, actress Lupita Nyong’o, criticized UK-based Grazia magazine after her hair was digitally altered. She took to Instagram to express her disapproval. She wrote: “As I have made clear so often in the past with every fiber of my being, I embrace my natural heritage and despite having grown up thinking light skin and straight, silky hair were the standards of beauty, I now know that my dark skin and kinky, coily hair are beautiful too. Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are. I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like.” A hierarchy of curls types have been created and those with kinky hair are discriminated against. They are told and shown by the media that loosely curled hair is more appealing and marketable.

When I first went natural in my sophomore year of high school, I was encouraged to get a chemical treatment in hopes of loosening my curl pattern. When my family saw my tight curls forming from my scalp, they did not hesitate to make their objection known. One of my family members were bold enough to say: “You should get a perm. Not everyone is meant to have natural hair.” I was offended and extremely confused. So, the hair that I was born with, the hair that God blessed me with, the hair that grows from my scalp is not for me? I couldn’t comprehend everyone’s distaste for my hair

Here is the thing about my 4c hair. It is more coily than curly. It takes manipulation to have super defined curls. My edges don’t slick back. Wash and go’s are really not my thing. My hair is densely packed so detangling is a struggle. There are not enough companies out there that tailor products to kinky textured hair so transitioning was a struggle. Shrinkage is my best friend and worst enemy.

With that being said, I would not relax my hair or apply chemicals to it just to fit in society's standards of beauty. My hair can be a pain at times, but it is a part of me and my culture. As a black female, more specifically a dark skin female, it is essential that I practice self-love. I live in a world where I am underrepresented, belittled and criticized. If I am not going to love the person I am, the hair I have or the color of skin, who is? I love my kinky, coarse, coily hair and you should too!