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Friday, April 4, 2014

Reclaiming the Word "Nappy"


Nappy was never a word you wanted to hear or be associated with when I was growing up. I’m a part of Generation X, the latch-key kids, Atari players, the generation after the baby boomers. If you were born between 1965 and 1980, you are a part of Generation X.
It’s safe to say that as a black child in this generation, your hair was either pressed or relaxed. Having natural hair (or what we called nappy hair) was unacceptable and made you an easy prey for ridicule. There was no alternative. You had to straighten your hair in some way and if your hair was not funky, fresh laid, you were bound to get teased. 
Negative labels were hurled from the classmates and playmates who had learned them from their mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. Nappy was not a sentimental word used to tell little girls how unique and beautiful their hair was.
Forgive me for not being politically correct, but this is my past and it's something I never want to relive. As I continue to fall in love with my natural hair, I had long forgotten the ugliness of the word and what it meant. I forgot about being teased for my kitchen (hair at the nape) being nappy or my new growth sticking out begging to be “tamed”. 
As a woman who is proud of her natural hair, the painful remnants of those memories began to resurface when younger generations started reclaiming the word nappy
You can read the rest of my article over at Naturallycurly.com

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