Friday, May 20, 2005

On Lock Down but Free As Hell

So after almost a decade of threatening everyone that I would…I did. Now, I’ve tried it in the past but after a week, I gave up. I wasn’t ready. I was still attached to the (relative) novelty of my versatile ‘fro. But the winds of change have blown away my apprehension and here I sit, 4 weeks after beginning the locking process. Inspired by fellow bloggers Mama Junkyard and Soulsystah, I am compelled to write about locks in my life.

Well, the reality of other people’s reactions to my chosen hairstyle is still not with me. Currently I am around people who are tolerant of the idea, my mum surprisingly included. I have an inkling that she thinks it is a quickly passing phase. I believe that the first real test will come when I step out of customs and immigration at JKIA. My father subscribes to that (generational?) mentality where locks=dirty, scruffy, hoodlum etc. My brother went that way about 3 years ago and my father would plead with me to talk some ‘sense’ into him. Not a chance. Who now will talk sense into me? I’m sure I will be told by many how having locks will affect the way people look at and treat me. Sure enough, even with my tamed natural hair, people with similar but disguised hair textures would volunteer and reassure me that my hairstyle was okay, and that I would be alright. Thanks. It sure was reassuring to know that I would be alright despite the fact that I had chosen not to alter my hair with the use of chemicals!

As for the political implications of dreadlocks, I will not venture there in this particular post. I will admit however, that while those romantic notions of getting back to the “real” and shedding foreign standards of beauty sure can be attractive, that is not my main motivating force. Truth be told, ever since I refused to be a slave to Nice n’ Lovely, Soft n’ Beautiful, Crème of Nature (note the self-deprecating propaganda explicit in the names alone!), I have been exponentially happier. Nevertheless, it has not meant lower maintenance. The extra extra coarse grade of hair that I have been blessed with would loudly proclaim that it was opposed to combing and, when I defied it (and it was a tough job let me tell you), it would shortly demonstrate its opposition by behaving as if it had never known what a comb was! So I decided to submit and let it be. That does not mean that I am resorting to raising what I call “real dreads”, i.e. through the “neglect” method. No, I’m still too vain for that…

Support Group

4 comments:

Mama_JunkYard's said...

This was lovely to read. I am always happy to learn about a fellow locked person's journey.

I wish you all the best and I hope your father likes your new look.

kishawi said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Let me tell you that you have unknowingly hitherto been an accomplice—definitely enjoying the different layers of your journey! Maybe I'll post some pics too but… give me a few months!

soulsystah said...

welcome to the fam hun! u will experience such a plethora of emotions and reactions.
u will question why u did this and the very next moment, ask yourself y u waited so long to do it!
ENJOY the ridEE!!!!

kishawi said...

Soulsystah I hear you already! The amazing thing about having dreads (or a 'fro even for that matter) is how much more conscious you become about your hair. Daily, attention is drawn to it and, you have to develop a kind of attitude about it. Even the way you walk or carry yourself has got to say, this is my choice don't haggle me, I know it's beautiful…I'm beautiful! And even though I did this before, daily, I find myself shamelessly staring at other people's dreads. I don't know what exactly it is that I'm searching for but I derive sheer pleasure in the studying of the texture, the density, the natural irregularities, the colours, the persuasions…