This too shall NOT pass…
Today, there was a discussion over at CurlyNikki.com, based on the question of whether or not “going natural” is just a trend or if it’s here to stay. I’ve actually been mulling over this question myself. Wondering if we are going to look back at this time with the “wow-I-really-thought-I-was-looking-good-but-what-was-I-thinking???” [horrified] nostalgia of that one uber-trendy style you rocked really hard back in the day.
I sure hope not.
In fact, I’m fairly confident that natural is here to stay. Ok, yes, technically it’s a hair style and usually hair styles go out of style as quickly as they become popular, but I truly believe that the decision to go natural will endure as a permanent change.
Based on my dabbling (read: unabashed lurking) in the online natural hair world, I can tell you that natural
hair styles are really on the up. But, we’ve seen this happen before, right? During the 60’s and 70’s the afro came into style as many people began to wear it as a way of taking pride of their African heritage. The afro, a symbol of black pride, was a bold style statement to make during the civil rights era, but eventually it too faded away and out of style as that period came to a close.
So why do I think the natural movement now is different? Whereas, the natural movement of the past was about making an en masse statement alongside a social movement, I think that today’s natural movement is a more individualized lifestyle decision based increase in knowledge and awareness. People are becoming more aware of the adverse affects that chemicals and synthetic processes have on the human body and on our global environment. For many, including myself, it was the removal of this chemical process from my lifestyle that was the main factor in my decision to go natural. Sure, you could also say that there is an aspect of the movement that is inspired by the political context of the now with Mr. Obama in the house, but as personal decision I think it is more of the health-motivated reason.
Because today’s natural movement about a lifestyle overhaul, what we are seeing is not a fad or a trend, but is here to stay. I know that now that I am more aware of the negative effects of relaxers both on my body and on the environment, I really cannot imagine going back to them. I think that beyond the movement of going natural there are also a lot of other lifestyle changes that people are making right now in response to their greater awareness about their behaviors. Whether its taking your own bag to a grocery store or swapping your car for a bike some days, all of these decisions are part of a larger movement. We are a part of a visible moment in history that we will look back upon and see how individuals began to make serious lifestyle changes as a response to a changing world.
In the end, one thing is for certain, being who you are and being true to yourself will never go out of style.