I love the responses I’ve been getting from the most recent giveaways I’ve had — first Ododo, and now the Celebrating with Curls transitioning diva giveaway. I asked you to answer the question, why are you a transitioning diva? And Mahisha Dellinger, founder of Curls chose five lucky winners. Normally I just list the winners, but I’d like to also share their answers. They were really beautiful and inspiring.
# 1 – CurlyBrain, who wrote “I am a transitioning diva because I had brain surgery in August08 and lost a lot of hair. The doctors shaved my hair in different sections (operation site) and since my recovery Iâ€™ve been all naturale.”
# 2 — myblkbrrynme said “I am transitioning because I want to be liberated. I want to finally embrace my rich heritage. I am transitioning because I no longer want to seem ashamed of where I come from. I am transitioning because I never had a say so in whether I wanted to become chemically relaxed because my mother felt that it would be more manageable. I am transitioning for my daughter because I want her to be able to embrace her natural beauty at a young age and not follow the beat of anyone else drum, but her own. I am transitioning because I have always admired natural women of color for their poise and class. They seem to always stand out from the crowd as if they are saying â€œLook at me. I AM BEAUTIFUL.â€ I am transitioning because I am just tired of my scalp suffering and the holes in my pockets becoming deeper due to the rising costs of relaxers. I am transitioning because I know that I am beautiful just as I am. Love me or hate me. I am who I am. I am transitioning because no one sets my standard of beauty. I am beautiful with straight, kinky, coily, nappy,or coarse hair. I am transitioning as a symbol of hope and progress. On November 4th the history of the U.S.A transitioned and I CHOOSE to transition as a symbol â€œChangeâ€ that Obama will give to our great nation. Itâ€™s a new day and a new me! Get on board my sistas! Get on board!”
# 3 — Ana explained, “I am transitioning because I remember looking in the mirror as a child and believing that I was beautiful just as I was, no chemicals, no makeup and nothing that God did not give me.
I held on that confidence in my natural God given beauty until my teen years when peer pressure got the best of me. I honestly recall that shiver that went down my spine when I got my first relaxer and my hair looked dead straight.
I went thru a period when I let myself go, due to life circumstances. When I say let go, I meant stopped â€œfixing myself upâ€. I wore jeans and a t shirt, lotion, deodorant and a bun for about 6mnths straight. Friends were concerned but they showed it by saying â€œwhy don’t you get your hair done?â€
Well when I came out of the fog I had bouncy, thick, curly springy hair and stringy relaxed ends. I looked in the mirror hair wild and free and felt that I was going to be beautiful again, inside and out-regardless of how some people tried to make me feel. I went to the salon to get the ends cut off and that mass of springy, curly, thick hair makes me SMILE. It feels like a secret that only I know.
That is why I am transitioning back to the Beauty, God gave me.”
# 4 Liberty Hultberg said “I was adopted as an infant, a bald, fair baby, and grew up with in a rural, all-white town. I thought nothing of â€œcolorâ€ until my hair began to grow out and racial threats snuck their way into my lifeâ€”a probable KKK member inching his car alongside me as I walked down the dusty street, a boy from school whose spit on my cheek caused me to run home and look up the word nigger to see what he meant. Even at a young age I knew it was because of my hair, that something about that hair was wrong. And so I accepted that hate and detested my hair, hot tears burning my face as I pulled at the tangles and prayed for a miracle to make it straight. In high school a miracle came when a sympathetic beautician introduced me to Straight Talk (a very damaging relaxer that is marketed for whitesâ€™ hair), and I began the chemical castration that would continue for many years. With this relaxer, along with a flat iron and bleach, I was finally the girl who had perfectly straight, perfectly normal, perfectly acceptable blonde hair. The hair of a white girl. The right girl.
The relaxer was like a jealous lover, however, demanding my time and my money, beckoning me to sneak into salons every few months with my new growth, hoping no one would discover my secret. In college I found Alphonzoâ€”a black beautician who refused to use Straight Talk. He transitioned me to more gentle relaxers, and told me, his fingers coating conditioner in my roots, that I was not white. A year later I made contact with my birth mother, and she confirmed what Iâ€™d begun to suspect: my father is black. I am biracial. My hair had held the truth all along. With this knowledge and Alphonzoâ€™s coaching, I began a slow acceptance of this new identity. A part of me wanted my curls, but if I even went more than 3 months without relaxing, big, thick portions would begin to dred on their own and Iâ€™d suddenly be that little girl in front of the mirror crying in pain, comb in hand, lost with this hair I never knew how to love. And now I held a race I never knew how to love.
Then one day Alphonzo disappeared. Like an addict, I immediately sought out another ethnic salon, but bravely asked for the mildest relaxer available. I was beginning to love my hair. All I needed was a little touch up now and then. I began telling everyone my story about being adopted, about my father being black, about my hair, the secrets bursting out of me like water from a broken dam. And I began to write about them too, and eventually enrolled in a graduate writing program. The summer before I left for graduate school, I decided to quit cold turkey. No more relaxers. No more texturizers. No more touch ups. I had no idea what I was in for, or how hard it would be to make the journey alone.
But Iâ€™m doing it. Iâ€™ve been chemical-free for about a year now, but Iâ€™m still trying to figure out what products to use on this new hair. There are days I just want to give up and consider going back for just a little help, just a few chemicals. I am trying to get to know that part of myself that has been silenced for all those years. I am searching for my father, too, and hope that when I find him he can be proud that I am an Afrobella, that I am learning how to love the hair he gave me as it was meant to be.”
And # 5 MzPoetic explained, “I’m not transitioning (Iâ€™ve been natural for almost a year and a half :0), but I just wanted to comment on my love of the Curls line. When I was new to natural, Curls was one of the first product lines I tried. Iâ€™m so glad I did b/c I found my first holy grail product, Curls Whipped Cream. Whipped Cream is the best thing since sliced bread. All of the textures on my head respond well to it. Iâ€™m a 3c/4a combo with a little 4b by my ears on each side. It smells good. Itâ€™s rich and thick. Moisturizing and defining. Great for the winter months (although I use it year-round), and also great on twists!”
So there you have it — the five winners, specially chosen by the creator of Curls herself! Congratulations to all of you! I will be in touch via e mail to get your real names and mailing addresses, so we can get your Transitioning Diva Kit on the way.
Thanks so much to Mahisha and Curls for the opportunity, and to all 79 of you bellas who wrote in with such eloquent responses.
And as I always tell you – if you didn’t win this giveaway, fret not! I’ve got some really good ones coming up, especially for the holidays! And if you’re curious and haven’t tried Curls yet, what are you waiting for?