“I have curly hair. I should be able to wear it like that.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio. 

The long answer to that is yes, I feel, I feel those – the pressure to be – to adhere to beauty standards all the time. Same with my hair, actually. I have naturally curly hair and, gosh, starting in maybe six or seventh grade, I started straightening it. Partly because, like, my mom has stick-straight hair. She had no idea what to do with a curly haired child. She would brush it and then I would look like I had a little puff ball, you know, on my head. You can’t brush curly hair like normal hair, right? She didn’t know that. So it always looked a mess. So straightening it was just easier. I knew what it was gonna look like. It didn’t look messy, and I definitely felt that pressure to, I don’t know, look neater or whatever. Just because, like, I think I’m an attractive person, but I was never thin, and not like – yeah, what do you call it? Like… Not attractive like the popular people, not like conventionally attractive. And it just, it was too much to be chubby and not conventionally attractive and not wear makeup and have messy curly hair, right? So like I did what I could by straightening my hair and wearing makeup. And I remember one time my senior year of high school, I wore my hair naturally curly to school for the first time since six or seventh grade, and I don’t even know why I did it. I just kind of – maybe I thought it looked okay that day. I don’t know. And like the first person that commented was one of my friends, a male friend that said, “What is up with your hair? Looks like you just rolled out of bed.” And that was like, “Okay. That’s why I don’t wear my hair like this, right?” So back to straightening it I went. But in college, I just – it was – I stopped because I wanted to get as much sleep as possible. And so I didn’t want to spend the time straightening my hair, and a lot of times I just like wore bandana or whatever over it. But like sometimes I look at some of those pictures and my hair was so gorgeous and curly, like it was so curly because I didn’t do anything to it, you know? And it had some time to like heal itself or whatever. And I was like “Dang!” It was cute, you know? But once I got a job, I felt the pressure to straighten my hair again. So I went back to doing that every bleeping day for many more years. And then again, 2020 rolls around and after like the first week of working at home, I’m like, “Why am I doing this? Why am I straightening my hair?” And I was just like, “I’m stopping that now.” That was part of my being more myself thing. It’s like I have curly hair. I should be able to wear it like that, you know. So I spent the last couple years kinda learning how to take care of it better, and it’s hard. Sometimes it does look messy. Sometimes it doesn’t look great, you know? It’s not as consistent as knowing what your hair is gonna look like when you straighten it, but I’ve embraced it. It is who I am. And I’m just – it’s kind of just like a nice little “f*** you” too, to a culture that feels like you have to look a certain way. This is how I look, or at least that’s how my hair looks.

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