Habiba Mohamed


“My hair is a symbol of resistance”

Living in a body that you continuously force out of its original molding is just exhausting. I never thought of it like that; for me, it was just hair. Something that for the rest of the society was rebellious enough that it needed taming. A thing that I was convinced growing up to be ashamed of, scared of, and foreign from me. After 24 years of forced hate mixed with kidnapped love to that part of me, I, with a terrifying and exciting feeling, decided to cut it all and spare the short bits that were not ruined by white expectations yet. I went natural. Since that day, I wear my natural Afro hair with all the pride and love that my heart can carry. There was a moment of revelation, a moment of acceptance and love. That moment that for the first time in 24 years, I feel beautiful in my skin and hair and that those authoritarian products that were forced the wild strands of my hair to march in soulless obedience weren’t the right path. That the wilderness of my soul dances its way out flowing on my flying curls. How can we ask for freedom if we jail ourselves in white beauty standards?

Hair means so much to me, and it is a symbol of resistance. It is resisting white colonial standards that were forced on us a long time ago. It' also enduring consumerism and beauty products that are in their nature, racist resisting microaggression, and structural racism. It is a symbol of my independent existence and my beautiful mixed heritage. It is a political stand for my right to be myself and cherish it. It is the hair that grows in my head. It should not be a revolutionary act, yet, with the historical context and everything associated with it, it is revolutionary to embrace your natural self.