Back to the FRO

Yay first post! Okay, I’m going to pretend people are actually reading this already.

I guess I’ll introduce myself. My real name is Maya, but on here I’m gonna go by Dada Chiku. (You might also know me as Alaiyo.) I’m not trying play Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana or Beyonce/Sasha Fierce, I promise–I don’t really have any identity issues, I just…I feel more connected to the roots I’ll never be able to trace when I use an African pseudonym, and I wanted one this time that represented my decision to wear my hair naturally again for a long time (maybe even permanently.) I’ll be 20 in 19 days. I’m a sophomore at Princeton University, but please don’t judge me by that. I thought about not even telling you, but you’re supposed to be able to be honest on these things, right? (Oh yeah, this is the first time I’ve tried to have a real blog blog, rather than one solely for my poetry…I guess I should tell you that too. My poetry can be found here, if anyone is curious.) So pretty please I beg of you, throw out any assumptions about me that sentence brings to your mind: I didn’t go to a prestigious prep school and I don’t come from money and I don’t have any big names on my family tree, I swear. I’m just a normal person who sometimes doesn’t understand what she’s doing here.

Alright, moving on. I’ll let you know more about me later, I guess. So uh, I just got back to school last weekend from Winter Break, and now it’s study for finals time AAH! (Princeton works on a reallllllllly weird schedule, lolz) But uhm, when I was home, I watched a movie I’ve seen a few times before called Something New. It’s a really good movie, and there’s one line that struck a chord in me this time that it hadn’t ever really hit before. The main characters of the film are an interracial couple, a white guy who runs a landscaping company and a black lawyer, and this is the first time she’s dated outside of her race. The lawyer wears a sew-in weave in her hair, and during one scene, while they’re in bed, he asks her if she can take it out. She freaks out and kicks him out of her house, and as he’s leaving he pauses and apologizes, he just wanted to see what she “looked like completely naked.”

That kind of made me realized that when I straightened my hair, I spent so much time arranging and styling and fretting over it that it was more like a piece of clothing or an accessory than a living part of my body. Something about that didn’t quite sit well with me.

A couple of days later, I had this great conversation with a really good friend of mine who has recently gone natural after having her hair in braids for years. Now that her hair is GROWING for the first time in a long time, she is really excited about having gone natural, and truly starting to embrace it. She bought a new book I’m going to borrow soon, called Thank God I’m Natural, and was telling me all about this documentary she watched about chemical relaxers (which I have never used), and her enthusiasm reminded me of how much I’d loved having my hair natural and curly in the past.

I remembered that the first time my father saw a picture of my natural hair, he said it was the most “me” I’d looked in a long time–that’s one of those sentences that’s going to stay with me always. I decided that it was a new year, totally new decade, and I was about to enter a new chapter of my life (my 20s…*roar*) and I figured my biggest New Year’s Resolution should be just being me. Embracing the person that I am. Regardless of what people might think, and as sappy as this sounds, I want to be true to myself and my heart, even if that means going against the grain or doing something my friends and family don’t understand.Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:Pristina; panose-1:3 6 4 2 4 4 6 8 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:script; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:””; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoPapDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; margin-bottom:10.0pt; line-height:115%;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –> My biggest goal is to fall more and more in love with myself every day…because also on the list is to find me a man (lol) and true love begins with the self, right?

So the next morning after I got off the phone with my friend, I dug out my Relaxed and Natural Shampoo and my Curls Conditioner and went back to my natural state…curly and kind of wild and I have to moisturize it a lot but I feel really just…free.

And that’s what I wanted to say first. 🙂


About alaiyo0685

I'm a kind of quirky, pretty stubborn, way too opinionated, twenty-something, intellectual, introspective, queer, Black, female, in a polyamorous relationship, and this is where I try to figure out my life.

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