Editor’s Note: This poem was written by past Defiant writer, Princess Asiedu.
What does she see when she looks into me?
She sees a reflection of…herself.
Or does she?
Because I swear,
Every time she looks into me,
The image of herself seems to get more and more distorted.
She walks up to me after school and looks straight into me,
She grabbed one of her afro puffs.
She fondles it for a minute, trapping her fingers between its thick curls
then she speaks.
She says her hair isn't “right”.
She should straighten it.
So she’d be just like them
The regular kids.
Then she averts her eyes to the skin on her hands.
And her arms.
And her legs.
And her face.
And she tells me
“It’s too dark. I have to fix it”.
Fix. She has to “fix” it.
As if it was something that was broken.
Something that needed to be repaired
so it could work like...
And you know what?
That’s not even what truly got to me.
It’s how she said those things.
Her voice was just oozing in disgust for her own self.
Like she could never truly see any beauty in who she was.
But I heard that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
So let me tell you what I see.
I see hair that dares to be different
It stands alone in a sea of normality,
so it can further be recognized for its beauty.
Hair that if is truly “crazy”, will never be tamed.
For its graceful curls and afro-texture are limitless in style.
I see skin that is truly a glorious masterpiece from God.
Enclosed with melanin to remain forever youthful.
It is a symbol of national greatness
that does not need to be “fixed” just to please others.
It should be cherished.
Because its colour alone
is a true symbolism of empowerment and singularity.
That is what I see when I look at her.
I just hope that one day, when she walks up to me,
she will truly see her reflection.