You know what gets under my skin? People preaching the gospel of personal decisions; those who go on and on about what’s “right” in really trivial and sometimes not so trivial situations. And I’m not talking about the kind that get you into heaven or hell.
I’m talking about people who preach the gospel of organic vs. non-organic. And those who argue back and forth about what’s considered natural hair. And those who go on about calories, fat, butter and what someone chooses to eat. And those who talk about the proper way to juice. And the list goes on.
Wanna know why this gets under my skin? Good. I’ll tell ya.
Each of these situations – at the least cause people to feel inferior – and at the most create division. Whether that’s the intention or not, this is the case. Some of these don’t even have a right answer.
We really have to think before we talk, putting the individual, financial situations, personal preferences, and even the person’s culture into consideration.
I can tell you there have been many-a-days I’ve felt offended simply because someone decided to talk about how many calories or the lard or butter in something. Counting calories is not a cultural norm in some households. Instead of worrying about calories and being skinny, some are more concerned with simply paying the bills and simply getting food on the table.Crap, I came from one of those families who was concerned about getting food on the table – even with both parents working full-time jobs. And frankly, if you’re a female who isn’t “able to cook” (fry some chicken, season some food, get down in the kitchen) in the African-American culture, you may as well be prepared to be single for life…at least that’s the message you’re taught; right along with get some meat on your bones. African-American women put a ton of pride in their ability to cook. Cooking the way grandma would approve helps me pay tribute to my grandma.
And when it comes to organic vs. not… I get it. Even our fresh food is processed. But organic is expensive and can even be hard to come by. Maybe you’ll say if I cared about my health then I would make “better” choices. I say…there are only so many things I can allow to consume my energy when there are so many things calling for my attention. Being a girl who has gone from a ton of fried food, hamburgers and french fries to a lot more fresh, lower calorie options, I’m gonna say I’m doing pretty good on my journey. I’ve made my leap into healthy, and I’m not sure how much farther I’m gonna go.
And about the natural vs. all the other classifications of hair. For the love of Pete, stop it! Dear natural sistas and brothas, don’t tell someone their hair is not natural because it’s not what you consider natural. That’s rude. In real life, is there really a true definition of “natural”? And if so, who came up with the definition? This is so offensive and is about as ridiculous as the good hair vs. bad hair argument. It’s just another things that’s separating our community and making us kinda hate one another…if I can go that far. Let’s face it, we ALL manipulate our hair in one way or another. Braided = manipulated. Add product = manipulated. Twist out = manipulated. Colored = manipulated. Pressed = manipulated. Relaxed = manipulated.
The bottom line…
Think before you speak, write, etc. The way you talk about your personal decision can unintentionally affect someone else. Maybe I’m just sensitive. I accept that. It still doesn’t mean that my feelings don’t matter. And if I feel this way, believe me, others probably feel this way as well. And if our goal is to try to help others change – especially for health reasons – let’s be sure to show compassion and empathy and really think about “where” the person is…not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.