Do you tame your tresses or let them run wild?
From Dictionary.com Define: "Clear, precise, unmistakable."
I am not one of those curlies who ever, ever wanted to tame my curls. Growing up poor, gawky, wearing hand-me-downs dresses accessorized by my brother's knee socks, you'd think I'd have had a complex about everything. On top of that, I lost teeth on a regular basis and got teased relentlessly about my name because of a popular brand of vegetables at that time: Libbi. Because I had five older brothers and sisters, almost all of whom have straight hair, I was the last in line for everything. No time for cute girly hairstyles in our house! But I had my curly hair, and I knew, inherently, that it made me different. Different than my classmates, and different even than my siblings.
The Curly '80s
I used to have much curlier hair than I have now. Coming of age in the '80s, big hair was, well, big. In fact, the bigger the better. Even the hair bands of the day couldn't compete with my curls and look—not without a lot of hair product and guyliner. For me, the wilder my curls were, the better. Sure, I used the cheapest products on the market. And then immediately upon washing my hair, I took the blow dryer to it to get even bigger hair!
If Curls Could Talk
In the 1970s, the afro, or "natural" as it was also called, was more than a hairstyle. It was a bona fide political statement. Wearing an afro allowed people to voice their cultural (and even historical) identity through their individual hairstyle.
Yet the trend for so many years of late has been to straighten, smooth, define and yes—tame—one's beautiful, natural curls, kinks and coils.
Let me be clear: I do not have the hair struggles that someone with much curlier hair has. I did not grow up with someone pressuring me to wear my hair a certain way in order to be "pretty." I was left to my own devices when it came to my curls, and we didn't have fashion magazines, so I never paid much attention to advertisements that told me what I should look like. That's not to say those pressures weren't prevalent for many people and very real. I'm just saying that I think this contributed to me walking a tad bit on the wild side.