Tuesday, October 15, 2013

El Afro

This month marks my one year anniversary of becoming natural. Or what I describe to be natural . I haven't permed my hair in about 5 years and I've done 2 big chops since then. However , I wanted to embark on this journey to learn more about myself and love more of myself and what God has given me . I no longer wanted to be dependent on weaves or staying in the house because of bad hair days . Nor did I want to become so obsessed that my hair defines me and my mood . I've always believed that hair is an accessory and an extension of self . But there is a long history of self-hate in the AA community and for woman a lot of that involves hair . I really wished I had started this journey earlier . By journey I mean tending and taking care and loving my hair . Understanding the complexities and the beautiful diversity of my hair . Feeling beautiful with kinky shrunken hair . Not brushing my edges down 50 times a day when simply put they don't need to be brushed . I don't think going natural makes you better than anyone else but it does open you to a side of you that you wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to .

It depresses me the amount of damage I used to do to my hair for it to look "right " or presentable . It's crazy to me the amount of chemicals I put in my hair . The amount of stinging I endured to get straight hair . The amount of sores I got from trying to comb my hair into a ponytail . And I don't blame my mom . She only did what she knew . And I oh did what I knew . But thank God for YouTube and blogging because so many black women have connected through this experience . It's one of the many positive things in the black community . For a black woman to love the skin and the hair she is in and feel beautiful . 

At first I was so shocked by the amount of people who said I looked beautiful with my hair out . But I was not surprised by the negative comments I've gotten . All in all I'm glad I started and I will continue to do so . I don't think a weave is the devil because quite honestly by 4c hair needs to be in protective styling such as a weave to enhance growth and prevent high manipulation . 

But I can't go back to purchasing ounces of hair every month at ridiculous prices for the sake of my hair being "laid " or trying to appease the opposite sex . All in all I think I've had more positive reviews from the black male than negative regarding my hair so I'll take that and run . 

At times I can get lazy . And sometimes I caught myself falling back into the weave trap because he seemed so "easy " . But the only way to rocking any hairstyle is having health hair! You can't have a weave with thin hair and no edges . So my main objective is to have healthy hair .

Though I go back and forth with my length . I have seen my hair much longer in my life time and I believe that my hair will eventually get to the length it should be . Contrary to popular belief , black hair does grow ! I will be posting a video of my different hairstyles and journey soon ! 

African Fashion Week Los Angeles

I had the pleasure of attending African Fashion Week LA this past weekend . And it was such a beautiful event with such a diverse group of people . But I also loved the fact that so many people of the African Diaspora came together to support such a wonderful concept .

This year marked the second annual African Fashion Week LA. The objective is to to enhance the African textile and clothing industries by providing a platform for established and emerging African designers to showcase their talents to a broad audience. AFWLA allows designers to take advantage of global opportunities and gain international exposure while growing their businesses and boosting the African economy.

Here is some of my favorite looks ! 

More Videos and pictures coming soon ! 

My actual First Post.

I wouldn't call myself a fashionista . I believe clothing and style has a voice of it's own. It's the eyes that stare when you walk into the building . It's the hisses of construction workers even when you're fully covered . It's the questions about who what where when why and how did you get those clothes . Why do you look so fab. Quite honestly I just like to look good . Style is an outer expression of self if used in the right fashion (pun intended ). Style is not the label but how we'll you know yourself and your body to make the clothing stick to you as though it's your own skin . Some try too hard . Others don't try hard enough . Unfortunately in the legal profession , you see a lot of the same black dull ankle length skirts which represents how elitist and conservative the profession is . I think fashion and style is something that is engrained in African culture and I've gained a love for it over the years . Now I must put it out there , I am not a self proclaimed fashionista . I am simply a young woman who enjoys dressing up and looking good . Not only because it makes me feel good inside but it also makes others feel good . People are most happy when they give or receive compliments . When you look good and someone else goes out their way to tell you . You have just add your day and theirs ! 

One of the subjects my blog will be covering is style . I prefer the term style over fashion because fashion always seems to have an elitist undertone . Growing up there were many folks who had style and were stylish . But no one ever used the term fashion or fashionable because it implied that you must spend a lot of money , buy expensive clothes , and wear what is "in". But what is "in" started from one persons style and spread like wildfire . But even within that one style , there are variations . And this shows the uniqueness and diversity within human beings . The fact that 12 happy woman (pun intended ) can wear the same articles of clothing and look completely different but stylish in one breath ! 

Which brings me to another point , I am currently a law and business student . One of my interest is international business and economic development in West Africa. One of West Africa's booming industries is fashion ! (Style!) Growing up in Nigerian household , everything was about presentment . How you present yourself to the world . No matter how little you have , you should always carry yourself with dignity so people respect you and your family name . I think that's why Nigerians love to dress up so much !! African style and fabric is so diverse and beautiful , it has been emerging into mainstream fashion and I love it . But part of this comes with keeping the identity and culture behind the clothing and making sure Africans are not being exploited . So that's where the lawyers and the businesswoman like me come in ! Protecting people's ideas and building markets for people's ideas to flourish !