Road To Natural Entry #1

"My name is Ebonee Monique, I'm an author (book coming out in February 2009 titled "Suicide Diaries"- - shameless plug) and I've been natural for 7 years now.

When I stepped foot onto Florida A&M University (FAMU) in the Fall of 2000, I knew I wouldn't be the same Ebonee that I'd been before that moment. It was something different, something freeing and liberating, about knowing that I was fully in charge of myself, thoughts and appearance. My brother's girlfriend was already natural and lived in the same city as me as well and she inspired me. She would rock these beautifully full twists, up-do's and create her own hair concoctions. "I want my hair like yours, but I know it won't be as pretty!" I'd joke to her every so often. But, then, one day I just decided to stop perming my hair (well, actually my money- or lack thereof- decided it for me). It wasn't anything more than an experiment to me. I wanted to know what my natural texture was REALLY like. Since I was a child my mother had permed my hair (and I won't place all the blame on her, my hair was really, really hard to manage and "all the other little girls" had straight hair; I caved to peer pressure) so I had no idea what to expect.

But after I returned from Winter break in January of 2001, I made up in my mind that I was going to do it. I had already been growing my hair out, not perming and not putting any chemicals in it, so why not just do the big chop. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, just my brother's girlfriend, and when it was all said and done I felt FREE! Of course I ran out and bought all the cutest little hoops I could stand, but I'd never in my life had short hair and, yet, something felt so familiar and lovely as I'd run my hands through my new-do. People on campus were all about doing you, so I got plenty of love and compliments and I, finally, started to see that this was more than an experiment.

Since I hadn't told anyone- not parents, siblings, friends, no one!- imagine their surprise when I stepped
off of the airplane and had a short little boy-cut. I even took out a camera to capture my mom's expression. It was priceless. My father was okay with it- not overly thrilled- my mom, who's always had short hair, loved it and my brother thought it was a great declaration of my independence. Some of my hometown friends made fun of me- I had been the girly, girl, permed hair every month with the deliciously straight wrap that folks tried to imitate- but I shrugged them off and kept it moving. It wasn't about "fitting in" was about doing what made me and my hair happy!

Since then, my hair has grown and I've continuously cut it. Sure, I'm curious what it'll be like longer, but I'm in love, love, love with my hair. It's something to be said when relaxed women come up to me by the droves, when I'm rocking my hair full, big and curly, and they question me "How did you do it?", "Do you think I should do it", or "How do I get my hair like yours?" I share all the knowledge I can because, honestly, I think every woman should try it at least once. Like Jay-Z said, "It ain't for everybody", but imagine how wonderful it would be to say you know exactly what every part of you is like WITHOUT chemicals."

Check EboneeMonique out on Myspace!
2 Responses:

I am SO feelin' this sister! There is definitely something liberating about going natural... It makes you walk through life with the whole "And What!" attitude. You definitely regain a little bit of yourself by going natural. Thanks for sharing that!

Go Ebonee!!! She's my fellow rattler, fellow tampa native and a major inspiration!!!! I love the hair girl! Can't wait for the book!

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