Do You Compensate for Being Natural?

by Amma of Klassy Kinks

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London singer/songwriter Kadija Kamara, photographed by Simon Klyne
Recently, I was watching a video from Liz of Beautifully Mane blog. She mentioned that she sometimes feels the need to compensate for being natural by wearing a lot of make up or wearing statement pieces. I can relate and I wanted to share my thoughts as well as my experience.

My Method of Compensation

When I first big chopped back in 2009, I bought so many earrings that dangled. I have always been into jewelry and accessories but my obsession with earrings that dangled was intense. As soon as my sister-in-law cut off my relaxed hair, I drove to the mall and purchased some in order to compensate for my new TWA (teeny-weeny Afro). Studs were no longer acceptable for me at this time in my life. I thought I needed earrings that dangled in order to appear as feminine as possible. I was buying all kinds of earrings that I would’ve never purchased in my relaxed hair days.

I also started to wear headbands and flowers in my hair. I never wore them in my hair while it was relaxed because my hair had never been this short. I also went to Bare Essentials and bought a makeup kit. I started filling in my eyebrows and wearing make up (though this didn’t last long). Before I did the big chop, I always had my “long” relaxed hair to rely on when I didn’t feel like wearing make up, jewelry or dressing up. I now felt obligated to go over and beyond in order to not appear “homely” or less feminine than my peers. I also didn’t want to appear as though I were going through an “awkward” TWA stage. As time went on and my TWA grew out, I realized less is more. I didn’t have to wear all my jewelry at one time. I stopped wearing the headbands and flowers. I am still into jewelry but I try not to overdo it. I wear make up when I want to. I no longer wear it because I have natural hair and I feel that I need to.

Is It Wrong to Compensate?

I think going natural has helped me develop more of my own personal style. I am more creative with my outfits and accessories. I think that stylish side of me was always there but I was scared to be different. I believe that wearing my natural hair has exposed that side of me and helped to eliminate some of my fears of standing out. I do not think I compensate for being natural anymore. My natural hair and style work together and I’m more confident with my natural hair today than I was back in 2009. Though, I do think the length of my natural hair has helped me a great deal. I think if I were to big chop again today {four years later}, I would feel the need to compensate all over again. However, I do not think there is anything wrong with compensating for being natural. As women (relaxed, weaved or natural), we all want to look and feel beautiful. I just think compensating for being natural should cater to one’s personal comfort level.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It’s important to remember that without all of these enhancements such as makeup, accessories, jewelry and even hair, we’re all still beautiful. When it comes to makeup, jewelry and accessories, do what works best for you. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and has you feeling your best. Wearing a full face of make up everyday to work didn’t work for me in my TWA stage. I wouldn’t do that now if I were to big chop again. But I would return to dangly earring and flowers. It’s about finding what complements your natural hair but still makes you feel comfortable and confident all at the same time.

What do you ladies think about compensating for being natural? Can you relate?  If so, how did  you compensate? Please feel free to share your comments, opinions and/or experiences below.
Natural hair at any length can be adorned. See below how these lovely ladies adorn their natural hair.

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Klassy-Kinks.com is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. Site founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, can be found on social media @klassykinks.

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