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Personal School Experience Essay

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Autor:   •  November 5, 2018  •  Essay  •  1,346 Words (6 Pages)  •  25 Views

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In the third grade, I sat at the worn down lunch tables where I peacefully enjoyed my mother’s homemade pasta. From my peripheral vision, I spotted a group of boys smirking and pointing fingers in my direction. I paid no mind to it until one of them started to approach me, slowly swaying his feet like he owned the place.

He looked at me and said, “What is that on your head? Cause no offense, it's kinda...ugly.” With just that, he turned and walked back to his friends, one of them giving him a loud high five, as if he swiftly shot a three-pointer or something. I could no longer eat my pasta since I was in pure shock from the unexpected words that ripped me apart, internally. Tears started to bulge out my eyes. I had to hold it in. I was not going to allow someone else’s words get the best of me, or so I thought.

It wasn’t long until my surroundings started to notice my distress. “Are you okay?” I catch my friend Felicia saying, in a concerned voice. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. Before matters got any worse, I suddenly excused myself to the bathroom stalls. The bathroom had a large smudged mirror that was covered with engravings and ghetto streets art, but one particular thing caught my eye in that moment. The word, “ugly” graffitied in bright bold yellow overlapping my own reflection. What a coincidence.

I grew up with the direct consciousness of how my hair looked. My mother, being an Eritrean Italian had more loose curls, with a free-flow bounce to it. I figured she gets a pass on being beautiful considering that she was fifty percent white. I always wanted my hair to resemble hers, but I sadly hold the genetic maintenance of majorly inheriting my East African ethnicity. My hair was kinky, moisturized, and well maintained in an afro-like texture. I let it down that day because I figured that it needed a breather from the weeks that I kept it in braids with extensions, only to get bashed for it’s uniqueness in the midst of ignorance. Maybe my natural hair wasn’t good enough for the rest of the world, I thought. Everything appeared to be black and white. Curly or straight, ugly or pretty. Nothing in between.

I lightly dabbed my dewy-eyes with a paper towel and return to the lunch tables smearing an intimation of content on my face. As I examined my close surroundings I noticed a pure essence of a solid shade. White. Something I obviously lacked. A group of white girls mingled and laughed with their all american barbie dolls in one hand and comb in the other, each having long straight hair with different shades: brunette, red, and blonde. I got home that same day and turned on the television to find a commercial about a shampoo starring all- yes, you guessed it. Straight. Hair.

This was the humbling beginning of my realization that my hair didn’t fit your typical eurocentric beauty standard. It wasn’t the long straight hair that swayed every time a breeze came by. No. It was the opposite of that. It was stationary and stubborn that never cooperated. I grew tired of the having this unloveable hair. I wanted that flowy hair all the white girls were praised for. I wanted anything, but what was on my head.

That night I prayed to God to bestoy a blessing upon me. I knelt on the side of my old twin bed and let my ten-year-old self express my deepest insecurity. It went something along these lines: “ Dear Jesus, today a mean boy said my hair was ugly. I don’t like my hair. Please help me get straight hair to be pretty. I love you, Jesus. Amen.”

Then as if by miracle, I came upon something that I figured would change my life forever. A harsh chemical substance that is known to accomplishing wonders for curly hair, breaks and reforms the cross-linking bonds of any kink in sight. A perm.

The next day I went to school with this new look of mine. My hair was straight, and somehow due to the law of attraction, everyone started to notice me. In social studies, a girl sitting next to me wanted to touch my hair. Five other white girls commended their way and lavished attention I craved. The boy who called me ugly passed me during lunch again, and this time, had something nice to say. I felt accomplished. Confidence overflowed throughout my body as I swiftly continued to walk with grace and eloquence, all because of a few silky strands that decisively laid against my brown face.

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