I’ve always hated my freckles, which come out like crazy in the summer. I would put way too much foundation on my face as a teenager to cover them up. My parents would tell me all the time how beautiful they are. My mom would tell me about how when they filmed Doris Day (which some of you won’t even know who I’m talking about) they used a soft focus film to cover up her freckles but how so many people thought she was so beautiful with her freckles. She told me that for the same reason we tell Sofi that her hair is beautiful and that so many people would love to have Sofi’s hair, we are never satisfied with what we have, are we? It never made me feel better by the way. I’m not saying anything bad about Doris Day but just like Sofi doesn’t want to be compared to the first lady (which is who some people compare Sofi’s hairstyle to and tell her that), I didn’t want to be compared to DD. She was an old woman in my mind, which is how Sofi sees Michelle Obama.
Coming up with a new hairstyle for Sofi when she was little was no problem. I could do it myself and it took about 2 hrs. I would do little twists all over, sometimes a bunch of poofs and sometimes I could braid it myself. Now that she is older she wants styles I can’t do anymore. Thank goodness we found Maria (who works here in Beijing but is from Tanzania). She is a life saver but even with Maria to come do Sofi’s hair, it’s still a battle to figure out what to do with it so that Sofi is happy.
If we straighten her hair, she thinks that she looks like Michelle Obama (who is very beautiful but what 12 yr old girl wants the first lady’s hair style?) and friends at school have told her that as well. If she gets it in cornrows, then it’s too close to her scalp and goes all the way back and then people at school tell her she looks like a boy. She’s never happy and when Sofi isn’t happy, then no one is happy. That’s not an exaggeration either.
Maria is here at our place doing Sofi’s hair right now and we had to stop for about 20 minutes while Sofi had a breakdown. I feel for her, I really do. Maria has to put hot oil on her hair and then water and then use the straightener, which then makes the oil drip onto her scalp. Last time Sofi had her hair done (about two weeks ago, just to give you an idea how often we have it done) there were two places on her forehead where skin was burnt off from the oil dripping onto it. I’m glad I brought microderma with me and vitamin E. I’ve been applying those two like crazy the past two weeks.
Hair is a big deal for AA women and girls. To leave it looking plain and not having it styled is a big no-no and since I’m a caucasian woman raising an AA girl, I do not want to be lazy and just let it go. Plus Sofi is getting to that age, where it really matters to her what her hair looks like. Who am I kidding, Sofi has always cared what her hair looks like. She’s wanted straight hair forever. It makes me sad how bad she wants her hair to look like everyone else but at the same time, I understand. We tell her all the time how beautiful she is and how beautiful her hair is, but if her hair can’t be like all her friends, she won’t even listen to us. Having once been a teenage girl, I get it.
The dilema continues. Personally, I wish she would cut it really short. I think it would look beautiful. Maybe one day when she’s older. Until then, we will try the straightener, cornrows, braids and next a weave. If you see Sofi, please don’t tell her she looks like the First Lady (though we all know how beautiful Michelle Obama is).