I expected motherhood to change me, as so many people promised, like change the way I drive (it sort of has) or the way I vote (pu-SHAH!). But not long ago, I found a change I didn’t anticipate.
Everyday Feminism ran a blog post about the problem with white women wearing cornrows, in this case, Kylie Jenner, and responded to a number of counterpoints people may bring up in support of white women wearing them. (it’s a worthy article; check it out.) One of the responses brought up examples of micro aggressions that Black women endure for the sake of their natural hair. The author explained that:
In our family, the protective love women showed girls looked like teaching us that our own hair was ugly and unkept.
Now that I’m a mother, I can imagine having to do this. Rather, I can try to, and I fail. I want my precious perfect beautiful little girl to beam like starlight, like the star she is in my universe. So I fail at imagining teaching my beautiful child to snuff her starlight as so many Black and other minority caregivers need to do in the U.S.
I’ve often considered getting my hair done into dreadlocks, but after reading this article and thinking about this passage, I realize that would only be an abuse of my privilege as a white person. Being the Wee One’s mother made me look at my privilege in a more visceral way and will hopefully also lead me on a course of greater awareness.