Beyonce's cut demonstrates the power of the big chop, natural hair or not.
Save Viola Davis, the big chop doesn't have a very positive image in Hollywood, which is a shame because the big chop can be exponentially powerful.
Hair has a way of shielding us from the outside world. It becomes part of our identity, something that we must touch and utilize on a daily basis. Our hair garners comments from strangers and lovers alike. Our hair is, to some extent, who we are, which is why it is so important to cut it off.
For those in the natural hair community, it often signals a life changing decision to treat your hair the way that you treat yourself, with love, care and consideration. It often signals the beginning to a new life of no-poo, low-poo and pre-poo, and a million other abbreviations that we'll learn along the way. It often signals the start to a new lifestyle that we'll pass down to our children in the hopes that they, too, pass it on to theirs.
The big chop is powerful, and for all the things that it signals, it teaches only one, albeit important, lesson: self-reliance.
When that shield falls to the salon floor, when those comments from strangers and lovers and even best friends quiet down, when you lose a part of who you are, you realize just how much you actually relied on that head of hair to boost your mood, your self esteem, your quality of life - and how much you never really needed it to.
A big chop is powerful because it is the manifestation of strength. It is you flexing your muscles as a whole, happy woman who embraces change, embraces opportunity and smiles in the face of constant adversity.
A big chop is not a meltdown, though for some it certainly has been. A big chop is not merely a coming of age tactic, though for some it certainly has been. A big chop is not just a passing rebel stage, though for some it certainly has been. At the end of the day, a big chop is the realization that you need nothing but your determination, personality and intelligence to get you anywhere and anything you want. And even those who have undergone the big chop under less than hopeful or positive circumstances come away from the experience with that strength reserved only for the brave.
A big chop is strength, stripped down, bare and exposed - and Beyonce is proof.
Would Beyonce's big chop be better if it were natural? If it weren't blonde? If it were perhaps a bit shorter? Sure, but we all show our strength through our own individuality. No one's big chop experience is better or worse than another's, and everyone has the right to do it their way (remember Willow's neon green big chop?).
Beyonce's hair might not be natural, but she is a woman of strength and endurance. She is a powerful figure and a role model for so many more reasons than this article can list. And now, she's helping to put the right kind of light on the big chop. Now, she is helping to prove to Hollywood, the world and our daughters that your hair is an accessory, an extension of self, but certainly not the definition of who you are.
Grow it out, cut it off, keep it curly, straighten it out. Whatever you do, stay true to you. But be warned, staying true takes strength.Photo Courtesy of Instagram