“My hair is messed up.” I blinked a couple of times at Jordyn, my 4-year old daughter, as she voiced these words to me this morning during our daily routine of prayer, breakfast, grooming, and preschool. My mind was completely blown as I digested those awful and untrue words. My “busy mom” reaction was tempted to tell her, “straighten your face and keep it moving.” Instead, with the help of the Lord and some much needed patience, I began to investigate my daughter’s response to her hair. She had just recently visited a hair salon where she was treated to a shampoo, detangling, and twisting session with a stylist.
I can remember that her beautiful hair was the first thing to be seen by my husband as I was propped on a hospital delivery room table during the early morning hours of 1/1/14. “She has a head full of hair” is one of the few things I heard during my breathing, pushing, and medically induced state of mind. Today, strangers stop us in grocery stores, malls, and other public places to comment on the length, thickness, and intricate styling of her hair.
The big tears forming in her eyes forced me to pause even more despite the time clock reminding me that we needed to be out of the door and into the car for our day ahead. Her hair was in perfect position and yet my daughter looked as if she wanted to crawl under my bed and hide. Perhaps Jordyn was overwhelmed at the thought of even more attention at preschool today as she anticipated the response (or lack thereof) from her teachers and peers.
I needed a plan of action for Jordyn and I needed it quick. I didn’t want her day to be hindered and most certainly didn’t want her entire girlhood to be hindered by something that was not true.
1) I denounced the lack of truth openly and boldly, giving Jordyn a mirror to view her hair for herself.
2) I begin to praise her on other qualities that I found so beautiful – her smile, her kindness, her efforts at home/school, etc.
3) I communicated to Jordyn: “You are more than your hair. You are a child of God.”
So often, the female species is bound to the unhealthy expectations of society as hair texture/length, clothing size, and characteristics like skin complexion drives people to either accept them or reject them. Sometimes talent, intelligence, and the inner qualities that truly make her beautiful fall by the wayside as she is measured by the standards that celebrate the outside appearance.
Hence you have countless girls, teens, and women feeling like they need to look a certain way in order to “fit in.”
My response to my daughter and many others is and will continue to be: you are MORE THAN YOUR HAIR. Additionally, you are MORE THAN your weight, height, skin color, lips, waist measurement, hips, legs, and other body parts.
You are so MUCH MORE – you are the creation of a God who does not make mistakes. Every perceived flaw, curly/straight hair, freckle, gap, and dimple is ENOUGH.
May Jordyn and others forever know that they are the handiwork of God’s imagination as they silence the voice of Satan and his insults with this promise:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10
I would like to give a special shout-out to Diane (salon owner/stylist) of In His Image Hair Studio for providing outstanding service to the city of Trenton, NJ.
Feel free to check out my latest guest blog about beauty and self-image with Ready By Design. CLICK HERE.
How are you pouring into the next generation? Through parenting? Mentoring? Volunteering? What are your experiences like?