They say everybody has a double somewhere.
Sure, someone may be walking around with our facial features, all humans are related to each other with varying levels of distance. Personally, I was perturbed by the fact that a fizzled romantic prospect's ex was my EXACT double from the nose bridge up—but at least for now this phenomenon hasn't ended up with me hopping a flight to Florida to ask Dad what's going on, or any sort of breakdown.
It's when my looks AND style are prominently featured on someone else that I get kind of...prickly. And after going natural, I noticed it seemed to be happening more and more.
Now don't get me wrong, a good deal of this is due to moving to a capital city/college town with a higher concentration of natural women despite the lower concentration of black people overall. But I couldn't walk out with a twist out or the classic "I've got things to do, but this hair is heavy" front of the braids back, rest of the braids out look without either finding another young woman in the same 'do or getting told I "Looked just like…"
See those faces? Two out of the five people in this picture are about to get read like the Bible, and you know which ones they are.
"But April," you're asking, "couldn't that happen while you were still straightening your hair?"
While there's no way to go back in time, record all my interactions with people from afar, and analyze them properly (yet), I get the feeling that I sense the 'Curse of the Curl Clone' more now than I did earlier in life. And that's because having gone natural was so much WORK.
First I dealt with Big Chopping, TWICE. Then I had to decolonize my mindset and work on accepting my much shorter, much more textured locks as both mine and beautiful to begin with. Then, because The Lion King had way too much of an effect on my sense of aesthetics, I had/have to deal with managing hair growth expectations. THENNNN, I had to learn to regularly maintain my hair, what to wear, how to melt shea butter, cowash, put my hair up on the fun nights I don't get back until 6AM when all I want to do is crash, deal with shaping the aftermath of doing exactly not that the next day, experimenting with all the different products, sometimes with disastrous results, getting microbraided for hours and hours and hours…
Did I go through all that just to look like someone else?
My whole purpose in going natural was to embrace the texture my ancestors gave me, and my reason for being with NaturallyCurly, aside from Gerilyn having put me and a writing sample in her trunk and Tokyo Drift-ing me into an interview, was to help celebrate afro-textured hair in a way that helps normalize its appearance. And yes, that means getting it to a point where someone can say "Oh, this mega matcha macaron goes to the lady with the bangin' twist out and glasses? Okay, WHICH ONE."
Honestly, if I stay asleep too long and can't properly apply my Graveyard Grunge Auntie aesthetics before I leave the house (shock, gasp, horror, ewwwwww) and I'm too easily mistaken for someone else, that's on me. But the fact that the climate is changing to the point where there are more natural ladies at first glance really is a marvelous thing.
Have you been seeing 'yourself' in other places, curlies?
Do you connect with your clone sisters or is it a (MENTAL) fight to the death over your personal brand? Let us know below!