Why I’m encouraging my son to grow the fro

I’ve mentioned before about Boy1’s decision to grow his Afro, but haven’t really gone in to detail about how I’m be extra supportive about it.

The second #worldafroday is at the end of the summer, and whilst I’m not sure he’ll still be sporting the fro (possibly going for a new look for year 6 – year 6!!!), I’m proud of how he’s managed this process. There are a lot of micro-aggressions he’s had to put up with over the last couple of years, which he’s had to navigate and try to understand.

So I thought I’d let people know why I feel it’s important for him to ‘grow the fro’:

  1. Celebrating identity – This is who he is. He was born with this hair so he must embrace it. As one of very few children of colour in his school, I don’t want him to feel that he needs to conform to a Caucasian ideal of how his hair should look or behave. I want him to celebrate who he his, before the ideals and restrictions of adulthood make him ‘tone it down’.
  2. Stop it being ‘rare’ – Guess what all people of African and Caribbean descent have afro hair, yet the mainstream consensus is that it is still strange, odd, different, quirky or a surprise to see someone walk around with their natural hair in all it’s glory. Part of the reason I started rock my fro more often, is to ensure my kids have a regular visibility of natural afro hair.
  3. Prove it isn’t messy – I’ve read plenty of stories about people being reprimanded at work for rocking their natural Afro hair. While I’m thankful I’ve never had that experience, I think it’s really important that young people realise there’s nothing wrong with a fro. Not only is it discriminatory, it’s just bonkers to think someone can’t do their job because of a hairstyle! My son is proving to any doubters that he is still polite, hardworking and good-hearted person, with a great head of hair

I’m not sure if this list really sums it up, but I’m so proud of my first born. Yeah, it might only be hair, but this process has really helped me to understand who he is.

Boy1, don’t ever change.

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