I became exhausted by constantly explaining my hair, why calling me the “whitest black girl” was so hurtful, explaining that I only bought a bracelet because the store everyone wanted to go to didn’t even make my size. That exhaustion of explaining myself caused me to just start shrinking myself and my body. The shrinking turned into disconnect and the disconnect turned into hatred. 

The first look represents that process. For me, healing my relationship with my body means not being afraid to be seen, to indulge in color, and adornment. My hair, big in size, is used to take up space in a culture that’s constantly trying to edge me out. That healing has brought back a sense of power, freedom, and ability to enjoy pleasure in my body. The second look is healing.