For most women, if not all of them, hair is so important. It’s important for the image they want to project for themselves and for how they’ll be feeling for the rest of the day. If the hair is not just so, the day may yet be ruined and yours truly will be quite miserable for the rest of that day. In essence, though, hair is important because it has aesthetic, social, psychological, cultural and even religious significance for women from all walks of life, no matter their age or standing, across all cultural spectrums.

But I have to laugh sometimes, not that religion is a laughing matter, in fact far from it. Nor am I suggesting that I am so broad-minded that it may just harm or cause me to be alienated from my faith. Safe to say, I am rooted in both my culture and religion. That does not mean, of course, that I will frown upon you if you are different from me. Ok, I may have something to say about how gorgeous your new perm is looking, that, and perhaps what you are wearing, is it in a nutshell. But I have to laugh sometimes.

The wearing of the burka, hijab or niqab, has such serious importance for most Muslim women from around the world, most of them will be wearing it at some stage of their religious cycle, others pretty much on a permanent basis. Women from other religious persuasions are little different. Take traditional, practicing Roman Catholic women, for instance. They’ll still be wearing their veils, black or white, depending on the occasion, to Mass every Sunday. I cover my head occasionally for the same reasons of projecting a sense of modesty, humility and religiosity.

So, why would I laugh so disrespectfully sometimes? Let’s be honest, many women quickly cover their heads more out of insecurity than obedience. They get up in the morning and their hair is still in a shocking state. Rushing off to work, there’s no time to doll themselves up, so the headscarf is quite a convenient accessory. Call it a blessing in disguise. No disrespect was meant with this observation, but be honest, how many of you have done this, simply covered your head out of shame?

What’s there to be ashamed of anyhow? No matter what your hair looks like, you should be proud of the way you look, whether projecting an image of radiance or modesty to the rest of the neighborhood. Take Indians and Africans, for example. Indian and African women, no matter which tribe they are from, or religion they have been brought up with, have so much in common in regard to their countries’ colonial legacies, having also been influenced to a degree by Western mores and cultural trends. Nevertheless, Indian women’s hair in general has remained an object of beauty and sadly also an object of desire from many other women who wished they had such long, dark and silky hair.

African women, on the other hand, generally-speaking of course, have seemingly become quite self-conscious of the kinky, coarse texture of their hair and, one can say this with great irony now, have taken it upon themselves to replicate Western looks by ditching their natural looks and having weaves, some made from Indian women’s cut locks, sewn into their scalps, clinically and precisely, or un-hygienically. But again, I insult and disrespect no other woman because sometimes I do know how you feel. But I am going to end my post with a flourishing reminder. This was my intention all along.

Girlfriend, forget about what the rest of the world thinks of you the next time you think heads are being turned your way for all the wrong reasons. What matters is not what they think of you. What matters more is what you think of yourself and what you believe in. So, you don’t look like a Bollywood queen? So what. You’ve been given those original locks for a reason and its part of who you are as a woman. Always be proud of your own unique image but never to the point of becoming vain.

 

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