We all remember the scene from Waiting to Exhale when Bernie is sitting in the mirror brushing her fine tresses when John, (her husband of fifteen years) comes in and tells her he’s leaving her. One point of contention aside from a cheating husband, is that she kept her hair long for him. A few scenes later we see her seated in the therapy (beauty shop) chair as Gloria begs her to reconsider cutting the hair that she’s grown out as her personal stylist. Bernie gets so upset she picks up the scissors and threatens to cut it herself.

A breakthrough freeing moment took place when Bernie elected to break away from doing what someone else wanted her to do, with something that belonged to her. She reclaimed part of herself that she’d given away to John by making a conscious choice to cut her crowning glory within a few inches of her scalp. Bernie wore that cut so well that many viewers (myself included) didn’t miss her long hair at all. The cut fit her perfectly said in no uncertain terms, F-R-E-E-D-O-M. Gloria’s shears and talents helped in the process, but make no mistake it was an act of courage and determination in reclaiming self.

tumblr_mdlr9m4NXb1r0fe6qo1_5001In many households females are not allowed to cut their hair because their daddy’s want it long. Perhaps those dads believe that long hair keeps girls innocent. In some households a hair cut is only acceptable upon marriage, or some other major life milestone.

Length, style, and choosing to perm or go natural are all personal choices. Rocking our hair in ways that are most comfortable is an individual and very personal choice. May we all be like Bernie (no, not cheated on) and get to a point in our womanhood where we style our hair in a way that pleases us. By the way Sis: You are beautiful rocking the styles and textures that you know work best for you.

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About The Author

C. Imani Williams, is a freelance writer and social justice activist. She works to bring about awareness and positive change. Imani's writing has appeared in Black Fem Lit Magazine, Alt. Variety, Teen Girl Talk Magazine, Diva Gossip, Hello Shopper, Geleyi and various other publications. Imani, holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction writing from Antioch University. The Detroit, Michigan native resides in So. California, where she greets the sun with a smile.

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