“Psst. Rasta!” “Rasta girl! Me like yuh enuh!”
“Jah know my girl, yuh hair fit you! It look good.”
For those of you who don’t know I tried out locks in my hair for a little bit recently. It is my intention that once my natural hair grows to a certain length and I have had my share of fun playing around with it, I will lock it. As much as I love experimenting with different styles for my hair, I have little patience and time to actually do my hair myself. I find it irritating. Hence, I plan on locking it and saving myself much trouble.
Initially, being called a ‘Rasta’ meant nothing to me. So many persons had something to say about my hair and by far the most upsetting of all the comment’ors’ were those that felt the need to remind me of how displeased I was with the finish the hairdresser gave me and this one man.
This one man
While working, this one man who initially said nothing to me about my hair, felt the need to vocalize his opinion after his colleague commented on it looking like my real hair and me saying that Its a trial before I do the real thing.
He says to me “So you are going to become a Rasta?” I reply “No. I’m going to lock my hair.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Locking my hair does not make me Rastafarian.”
Then he says this ignorant sh!t: “See, I don’t get it. I can never understand how someone, and people from the church too, wear locks- something that identifies Rastas and then say they are not Rastas.”
I don’t like this kind of ignorance, you know? It took a good amount of my strength to remind myself that I was on the job and as such….let it go.
The man in the background chimed in before I did “But she right. Locs don’t make you Rasta any more.”
I added “In this day and age with things changing, culture changing just like people do, nothing has the same meaning as before. Locs is just a style for your hair.”
Hair is such a fickle thing these days to use as an identifier.
Nomad Philosophy 101
A person or one’s self-being is not fundamentally defined by capricious external symbols (symbols being used loosely) with frigid meanings. I look at a person’s definition like a building.
The foundation is like the past, your history.
The walls are the pillars of beliefs that you have.
Then the furniture etc. on the inside and the colour of the outside walls are those fickle things that can change at any moment.
The colour of the building and the furniture do not make it a building. Change those around and it is still a building.
My hair is the colour of that building. I am not Rastafarian because I do not believe in the religion. Also, wearing their identifying colours does not make me Rastafarian. I do not practise their rituals.
It boils down to ‘If you want to know who someone is, just ask them. Never use their physical appearance to judge.’
*NB I can tell you how this has taught me a lesson.