Dealing With Opinions About Your Big Chop

by - Saturday, March 12, 2016

Danai Gurira 

Last week,  I blogged about what to do after the big chop, this week I want to discuss fully on one of the points I lightly mentioned : embracing your style.   If we must become confident as women,  we must be well girded enough to defend big or major choices we make.

When I went transitioning,  I did that for some other reason that had nothing to do with transitioning into natural hair.  It was a tug of war as I got so many reactions and advice,  mostly unsolicited. As time went by,  I realized that it is a blessing in disguise.  Now,  a lot of women 'chop off'  for very many reasons. Many many tangible and understandable reasons.

It isn't up to any woman to make any other person approve of her actions. Manning your life,  making choices and learning from life is entirely up to you. A friend went for the big chop because she assumed that it would help her regrow some healthy hair.  She told me she was done with the chemically infested strands.  It was in fact,  becoming unsightly for a woman of her age as her front lines were falling far back.  Her experience after the big chop came as a surprise to her.

Who would expect that some folks would have reasons to frown at her step to reviving her 'dead hair'.  But yes,  they did frown and it was a noteworthy experience.

I remember Lupita N'yongo particularly saying that she was done with chemicals and hair as a whole. Detractors came on scene again as soon as they saw some hair on her and the only question that popped up on my mind was - since when has hair choices,  changes and unchanges become a reason for legitimate concern from the world?

I am as a result inspired to write something about this.  Perhaps,  you just had your big chop or are considering going for one. The following points will be brief and straight to the point.

Act disinterested 

It is perfectly okay to not be in the mood to explain to one more person who you are transitioning or deciding to do away with hair.  A discharging smile is just about enough. A sensitive questioner is intelligent to leave the issue and move on ahead. If s/he will become adamant,  "I really don't want to talk about my big chop" is enough to scare them away.  Yeah,  letting them think you are finally insane or emotionally in the pit can save you some hour long explanation on why you cut your own personal hair.

Change topic

This may crop up in a group discussion and in a bid to avoid telling a lie,  you may change subject.  Some women went for the big chop because their finances can no longer support keeping a decent hair. This may sound ridiculous and very flimsy to some people. But what can we say? We never stop surprising each other with our reactions and opinions.

Help them understand 

This is for your closest of friends who you feel obliged to give an explanation.  These are people who care and may be totally and honestly concerned.  Some cultures have made going for the big chop totally unbearable because meanings, bad meanings are attached to this in some tribes of the world. Who are we to judge? So, helping them understand can give you some peace sort of and afford you the opportunity to have some individuals on your side.  That way you don't feel totally estranged from the society.

Have you ever done the big chop?  Did you do it recently?  Share your thoughts and experiences. 

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The pout on my lips when you don't share your thoughts with me makes me look ugly. Please comment so that I will be fine.