Difficult Life Story

Categories: LifeOprah Winfrey

As a young girl I remember growing up in the hair salon getting my hair done for hours to achieve different braid and twists styles and my least favorite the creamy crack, or to be politically correct, perm. In the black community there is has always been a wide variety of hair styles that could be used to make a statement like the afro’s people wore during the black panther movement or to conform to the beauty standards of the time.

My parents were big on making sure my siblings and I had a since of consciousness so we would listen to thought provoking music in the car.

One song that resonated with me was “I am not my hair” released in 2006 by India Aire ft. Akon. In the first and fourth verse Akon gives the male perspective on the effect certain hair styles have on black men. Here is an excerpt from the first verse. “Just trying to be appreciated.

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Nappy headed brothers never had no ladies… had em’ give me lil’ twists and it drove ’em crazy. Then I couldn’t get no job. Cause corporate wouldn’t hire no dread locks…Was it the hair that got me this far… I hate to say it but it seems so flawed. ‘Cause success didn’t come till I cut it all off. “These lyrics are very powerful to me because it calls attention to a bigger issue of discrimination in the workplace. It also made me think about the images of the black man that was most commonly seen, a low fade with little to no facial hair.

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India Arie’s message in this song is that regardless of the way you wear your hair it’s all about “the soul that lives within”.

The third verse states “At the turn of the century. Its time for us to redefine who would we be. You can shave it off like a south African beauty. Or get it on lock like Bob Marley. You can rock it straight like Oprah Winfrey. Its not what’s on your head its what’s underneath.” As a kid these lyrics helped me realize that in the black community there are so many internal and external struggles that come from the way we wear our hair. Songs like these motivate people to advocate for diversity in the work- place and diversity in hairstyles in the media as they create a conversation rarely heard in pop music that gives this song a long- lasting impact.

People like India Arie inspired me to go natural which is a decision I made my freshman year of high school and ever since then my hair had been thriving. This song empowered me to embrace my natural hair and at a time when it wasn’t trendy to do so.

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Difficult Life Story. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/as-a-young-girl-i-remember-growing-up-in-the-hair-salon-example-essay

Difficult Life Story

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