I am not my hair

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself and others.

It’s a normal school day; I am sitting at my desk, hair in braids, doing my classwork when I hear giggling behind me. “She bald-headed,” a voice says, giggling. “I know, that's why she wears weave all the time,” the other replies. I sit at my desk, overhearing my peers giggling about my hair. What's wrong with my hair? I just got it done. Why are they making fun of me? My eyes start burning, and I feel a tingling sensation as I try holding back my tears, so they don't start rolling down my face. Why am I always made fun of?

The next school morning, I tell my mom that I do not want to go to school. “Why?” she asks. “Because I'm sick; my stomach hurts,” I lie. “Okay, stay home and rest,” she replies. I stay in my room and cry about the things my peers said about me.

Growing up, I was always insecure about my hair. I’ve always felt embarrassed leaving my hair natural because people would make fun of me about my hair being short and “nappy.” Plus, I was always made fun of if I wore weave; I just never knew what to do with my hair. I hated feeling like I was different, so I eventually put a relaxer in my hair to keep it straight, to fit in. I noticed that I wasn't made fun of or called “nappy-headed” anymore. I also stopped wearing...

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