Thursday Morning Melody: I Am Not My Hair

Earlier this week we posted a fantastic article about hair, race and cultural notions of beauty. Today, we’re building on that theme with a Thursday Morning Melody throw-back to India Arie’s 2006 hit, I Am Not My Hair. We love this woman!

Little girl with the press and curl 
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone 
I looked in the mirror 
For the first time and saw that HEY….

I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair 
I ma not this skin 
I am a soul that lives within

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century 
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off 
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath and say HEY….

Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
I am expressing my creativity..
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)

Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY…

If I wanna shave it close 
Or if I wanna rock locks
That don’t take a bit away 
From the soul that I got
Dat da da dat da [4x]
If I wanna where it braided
All down my back
I don’t see what wrong with that
Dat da da dat da [4x]

Is that India.Arie?
Ooh look she cut her hair!
I like that, its kinda PHAT
I don’t know if I could do it.
But it looks sharp, it looks nice on her
She got a nice shaped head
She got an apple head
I know right?
It’s perfect.

This post is part of  our Thursday Morning Melody series. Every Thursday we feature the music video and lyrics to a song that touches us deeply. If there’s a melody you wish to share with the Intent community, please share it with us in the comments below! Click here to listen to past Thursday Morning Melodies.

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