Don’t call it a comeback, but Essence really did THAT with its three-way cover for the May 2014 issue. Many of my girlfriends and I have an on-again-off-again relationship with the glossy for various reasons; howev, those feelings were cast aside once I laid eyes on singers Solange Knowles and Erykah Badu’s bodacious ‘fros and Ledisi’s luscious locs. After last week’s big cover unveil, I waited patiently (scratch that, I was really wondering where my issue was) to receive my very own copy. Well, it arrived on Friday and I haven’t been able to put it down. From to Mellody Hobson’s excerpt from Lean In: For Graduates to Soledad O’Brien opening up about founding Starfish Media Group, I clung to every word in the issue.
While I was extremely excited to see the Time Inc-owned magazine embrace natural hair, I couldn’t help but long to see something similar on Latina or Cosmopolitan for Latinas. My optimistic side says it’ll happen, but I know we’re a long way from that point. First step is fully acknowledging our African roots, next step is getting more of my brown hermanas on the cover; then I guess we can talk about getting a Latina with a pajón to be the face of the magazine for a month. Am I asking for too much?
Growing up, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to tame my pajón with crema, a relaxer. The desire to have straight hair led to nearly 10 years of intense chemicals and heat, all in hopes of taming my mane. It wasn’t until I could no longer take the chemical burns and long, bi-weekly salon visits that I decided, for the first time, to discover my true hair texture. I relapsed, but made the decision for good and haven’t turned back since—not that I haven’t considered it (especially in my early years of going natural).
I thought my natural texture would be similar to Tracee Ellis Ross, which was all wishful thinking, and struggled to fully accept my tight curl pattern. I cried a few times after the big chop and considered going back, but something always stopped me. I had to realize A) it’s ok to have hair crushes, but not to the point where you’re comparing your hair to said crushes and B) this is apart of me, and, since I love who I am, I was going to love it. I had to rid myself of what I was taught to think was pelo malo (bad hair). And, in my third year natural, there is nothing a good product can’t hook up.
I wonder if I saw more covers like the recent Essence issue growing up, if I would have embraced my own hair sooner? I don’t know, but I’m sure there are hundreds of little girls that’ll see the issue and know that no matter how they style their hair, it’s beautiful. All hair is GOOD hair.
I’ll continue to wear my pajón proudly. In the words (or hashtag) of fellow bloguera Miss Rizos, #pajonpower!