Beautiful Hair by Dalila Bailey

It’s a culmination of images that project from a big screen, we pass by at a cosmetic counter or take notice of in the sidebar of a small android screen. Perpetuating, penetrating… even perpetrating to create an acceptable ideal. Images can be powerful should we allow them to be.


It takes a broader mind in our today to rise above the constructed “ideal beauty”. We’re accustomed to pop culture assigning what’s popular, “in” or glamorous. What once was,is no longer and what is will no longer be…tomorrow. What if tomorrow were different than your typical, run of the mill day?


Imagine waiting in the grocer’s express, line to check out and you have to wait longer than you’d expected because the person in front of you has a coupon for every other item, bulk granola, seeds and grains with no codes for quick look-up. On top of that, the mom of twins does, in fact, carry a check book somewhere in the bottom of her bag.


You decide to wait patiently instead of switching lines. Plus her chubby toddlers are smiling at you and you think they’re pretty cute too. You browse the shelves and try to make the most of your time there in front of a slew of tabloids, an Ebony, O, Vogue, Cosmo, Essence, NHM and a Redbook. The woman on the cover of Vogue has skin like yours, the chic on Cosmo has hair like yours, the bombshell on O looks like your mom used to before she started wearing wigs.


You flip open a Redbook for some advice on “Keeping Your Frizz Fabulous”. You got the styling cues you wanted and picked up the Vogue magazine next– in bold pink font, the words, Juicy ‘Fros for Fall jump out. You start to wish you’d jumped into a slower line, if that were even possibly and quickly flip, turn, flip and turn. The babies are babbling at you and you look up briefly to say “cheese”. Finallly, you find, in the center of the magazine, gorgeous, sophisticated, elegant, beautiful hair-framed faces, a rainbow of complexions, from blue black to red brown to pale pink. The ‘fros aren’t just your round Jackie Brown, 70s traditional.


The First Lady’s afro was clipped just above the nape of her neck with a polished brown and gold tortoise shell accessory. Michelle’s lively springs of moisturized tendrils floated up and over her crown to fan, ever so gently afront her forehead. A few tighter coils dangled lower to delicately frame her cheekbones and the hair, along the sides, wasn’t flattened to her head. Rather, it pillowed right around the temple. It appeared as though she could actually chew without a strand breaking or popping off. Her regal crown–yes, her very own, natural hair was absolutely gorgeous, palpable, feminine and need I say it–ELEGANT! Her individuality, as one of the single most powerful women in the United States of America, was represented through the lift of her strands.


Before, I could flip to the next page, the guy at the register spoke, “Hey gorgeous,” he cleared his throat.


He’s mighty fly for a Greek guy? My gaze followed his lips down a few inches to his well defined chest. His tag read Bacchus. The dark-haired young Clooney did that grocery vest plenty of justice.”Ummm…,” he flashed a smile and cut his hazel eyes to the line behind me, signifying that the rest of the world was ever so patiently waiting.


“Oh!” I respond and cram the thick magazine back into its rack. I set my bag of Granny Smiths and a tall, glass bottle of coconut oil on the belt.”


“So, is this your secret?” he asked as he lifted the bottle into the bag. “Huh? What do you mean?”


“I mean the secret to your smooth chocolate skin and that luxuriously supple hair of yours,” he purported, “I just wanna touch it,” he almost whispered, “Can I?”


“Its hair, honey. Everybody has it?”


“But, everybody ain’t got it like that!”


“No two heads are the same” I say, “unless they were created to be.”


Before it could slip my mind. I reached for the NHM and handed it to the cashier. He held it intrigued by the beauty on the cover.


Beautiful hair.


It’s a perception, an idea, a creation. It’s art, all it’s own, textured rough or flat or bumpy, springy or soft, firm or floppy, All variations are more than worthy of appreciation tall hair, short hair, long hair, layered hair, evenly cropped, symmetrical or some form of curvy, edgy, jagged.


I encourage women to own up to their own beauty. It is “in”. So, bring it out!