Welcome to http://www.bodycourage.com : )
It has been a long while since I have posted a blog entry so I wanted to do one before I left for Italy : )
I finished a special engagement workshop performance of The Body Image Project at Congo Square Theatre Company last week. The workshop phase is finally complete. Thank you to any and all who have supported this show. It has been two years in the making and this month I will be finalizing an international tour : )
So as some of you know…those of you who follow my journey on Instagram/Facebook…I have been swimming recently to get fit for next year’s tour. This new hobby of Swimming has required me to buy a Fancy Speedo Swim Cap and to take out my WEAVE! For those of you who don’t know what a weave is….it’s basically hair extensions sewn into braids. If you are still confused Google Image every celebrity known to man!
I have been rockin’ my natural hair for less than a week now and it has taken me some time to get hip to it.
I remember the first time I had my hair permed/relaxed I was 13 years old and I really wanted to be able to put my hair behind my ears…
BACKSTORY: I went to 99.2% white elementary and middle school. I would be so irritated when girls would flick their long hair back and forth whilst in conversation. But, what really made me jealous would be when they would put their hair behind their ears… like so:
It was quite difficult to attempt this hair behind the ears style with a full blown curly afro gifted to me by my parents DNA. So I BEGGED my mom to perm my hair. I was desperate to fit in with the girls at my school. I was the odd kid out…I had lunches that consisted of curry goat/plantains, I was heavier, and I wore glasses the size of full length mirrors. I truly believed straight hair would solve all of my elementary school woes.
So my mom and I went to Walgreens and bought a “Just for Me” perm box and she carefully applied it to my hair…within minutes my hair turned from Don King to an adolescent version of Sarah Jessica Parker. It was miraculous and also quite frightening. I remember looking into the mirror and staring at my straight, lifeless hair and I just- for like 5 minutes- kept tucking my hair behind my ears! Little did I know at the age of thirteen that I would continuously have to relax my hair in order to get the luscious locks I always dreamed off.
Now let’s go to college…
I went to school in Philly at Temple University (woop woop!). It was the first time in my life that I saw girls proud of their natural hair. It is safe to say that Philly is a huge hub for Naturalistas and I wasn’t used to seeing SO MANY beautiful natural hairstyles as a kid.
I grew up in a household of beautiful West Indian women who wore their hair in all styles, but I was still told that I wouldn’t be able to get a job if my hair looked “wild.”
My grandma Aunt Dor, rocked an INTENSE short afro for most of her life that she moisturised with a full blown Aloe Vera plant. This terrified me as a child, because she would chase me around with the GOOP from the plant and try to lotion my face with it!! My mom, I’m not gonna have her business out on the blog, but her hair was always permed and gorgeous. Up until that point I love my PERMED hair it was beautiful, silky and cared for…until I went to college.
I realized, in college, that I did not have enough money to constantly get my hair permed. So I rocked braids “Sittin’ Up in My Room” style like Brandy. This was a great in between style. After I got braids, I dated this guy, who ended up getting on my last nerves, so then I cut my hair short like Tony Braxton in the “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” video. Between damaging my hair, cutting it, perming it, and all the rest…I decided to wear weaves for a year.
The year I went to graduate school in the UK I decided to get a short Bob Weave that was asymmetrical. Then I vowed against getting a perm for a full year so my hair could breathe, but of course I was a slave to the creamy crack after being addicted to perms since I was 13 I could not resist having my hair look sleek.
In the househould I grew up in there was always talk in the house about looking “PRESENTABLE.” My mom is a lawyer and I grew up watching her groom herself to perfection every morning to get ready for court. Her hair was always Pin-Curled and Laid. I also had the fear that if my hair wasn’t “presentable” I would not get any work as an actor.
But when my husband and I got married on August 10, 2013…
I vowed to myself that I would never put perm in my hair again. So I wore weaves to grow my hair and last week I finally took out the tracks and allowed my hair to breathe free. It has been terrifying and exciting to see my natural God given hair. I am learning all of the terminology and I am really happy with all of the support. I will never perm my hair again. Wearing my hair out is true body courage for me.
I might rock a weave once in a while when I want to get my Beyonce on, but for now I will keep to my natural tresses.
Love you all- Would love to hear your comments!
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The beginning: An Attempt at PigTails (Boston, Ma)
12 years old Flat Twists with a Track of Drop Curls:
“Brandy Braids” 2006 (Brooklyn, NY West Indian Day Parade)
“My First Weave” 18th Birthday Party 2006
“The Elaine Stritch Years” – Temple University 2006-2010
Grad School In Between Styles 2011-2012
Short Cuts Goodman Theatre Opening of “Vera Stark” 2013
Bride Hair 2013
Free Last Week’s Photos: 2014