1. to feel a desire to have what someone else has : to feel envy because of (someone or something).
We always want what we don’t have
Last week, I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine about Black hair, and she started sharing her experiences with tress stress with me, as a fellow naturalista:
My hair’s so thin! I wish it were thicker, like yours!
I wish my hair was longer!
When I do my wash-and-go, it doesn’t look like yours!
Sadly, hair envy is not uncommon. Whether due to external and/or internal influences, we always seem to want what we don’t have: people with curly hair wish they had straight hair; those with straight hair wish it was curly; people with thin hair wish it was thick; and those with thick hair wish it was thinner!
Over the years, however, I’ve learned that it really doesn’t pay to envy what other people have– whether that’s hair or anything else, for that matter- because:
(a) It doesn’t change what you have, and
(b) It distracts you from recognizing and valuing what you do have!
All envying really does is cause you unnecessary grief!
So, when my workmate asked me, “how are you so comfortable now with your natural hair?”, I told her exactly that: “you just have to accept what you have, and then make the most of it!”
Having grown up natural, and dealing with my own experience with hair envy as a child, I get it: it’s hard sometimes to be content with what you have, when everything and everyone seems to be saying to you that your hair isn’t good enough!
African/textured hair is uniquely ours: no one has hair like we do! So instead of focusing on what it supposedly can’t do, focus on what it CAN do– it’s all about perspective!
- Our hair, in its purely natural state, supposedly CAN’T “move” or blow in the wind, BUT our hair CAN stay in place when you style it. (PS- in case you didn’t know, our hair CAN “move”, both when it’s curly or straightened, depending on how you manipulate it.)
- Our hair supposedly CAN’T lie flat and it’s too frizzy, BUT our hair CAN be shaped and defined, often without the help of any implements. (PS- our hair CAN lie flat and smooth when it’s stretched or straightened, both with/without the help of gel or styling cream.)
- Our hair supposedly CAN’T get to waist length at the drop of a dime, BUT our hair CAN go from short to long instantaneously- hello, shrinkage! (PS- our hair CAN get to waist length too, with the right amount of care.)
- Our hair supposedly CAN’T be “managed” because it’s too tangly, BUT our hair CAN keep braids, rolls, and buns, etc without much assistance, for that very same reason! (PS- our hair CAN be “managed” using the right combs and detangling brushes, some water in a spray bottle, and/or a good moisturizer/conditioner to add some slip!)
Do you struggle with hair envy? If not, how have you learned to be content with your tresses?