My hair tells stories. It speaks of Latinidad, and femininity and seduction. It does what it wants and I obey.
That is except when I give presentations, or when I host events or conduct face-to-face interviews with celebrities. I think about what I am saying—without saying a word—when I go naturally curly or flat-ironed straight.
The “Love Your Curls” film by Dove makes me question the message I am sending my nieces and my future children as well. It’s easy to say that my hair is not political or racial or even a topic of discussion. But it is. One of my nieces looks at her curls with disdain. Her mother and I try to give her a sense of Curl Pride, telling her that her curls are gorgeous and point excitedly at curly hair girls in magazines. But when I set off for my next meeting or interview, hair unraveled and disguised, I see that the message I am sending my niece is tangled up.
And maybe it’s not at all as serious as I make it out to be. I just want my niece to love her hair. I know I love mine. But am I being an undercover curl lover?