"Kurdish women embody the strength of long hair. Every strand being made to protect made to grow, and made to know. I realized why I feel unquestionably comfortable with my long hair and why my mother never wanted me to cut it. It's a part of me and my history" (03.06.18/Instagram)
As a young girl who was always told to never cut her hair and to let it grow by my mother never realized why my mother was so persistent on my hair and its length. As a young girl who was always told by my mother to never dye my hair because there was no need to destroy it, never realized why my mother was so persistent on my hair colour and keeping it natural, while I constantly saw my sister colour her hair in more ways than one.
The consent arguing as a child to want to fit in and follow what my friends and sister were doing turned into battles with my mother about chopping my hair off and dying it a different colour so she'd finally leave me alone. However, my hair now and even back then was a possession of mine in which I was so incredibly comfortable with. The comfort my hair allowed me to have, the safety it portrayed for me and the protection it gave me allowed me to be in control of what I allowed the world to see. My hair helped me keep certain body parts invisible. My hair helped me hide that unwanted arm hair’s that people would often pick on and question. My hair allowed for the distraction of my unibrow to be ignored while the compliments of my long natural hair were uttered.
The realization of such simple moments brought to light the embodiment of long hair as a Kurdish woman and why those battles with my mother were simple acts of just wanting to fit in without realizing what my hair really meant to me and my culture. As each strand and root started to grow I was growing along with it. My confidence became something that I wasn't faking anymore, but almost like a possession of mine that I rooted in my hair. My strength became as strong as the Kurdish women who embody their roots during battle. I have bridged a connection between my ancestors and their long hair that became a clear form of freedom in eras of oppression and war. With every strand that grew and every inch of hair that was added it created a form of freedom for my ancestors. I embody the small freedom of growth. I embody the source of protection, confidence, and safety that allowed the female fighters of Kurdistan to battle the enemies of our land and win. the source of friendship that was placed within the moments of female fighters braiding each other’s hair for battle.
And suddenly I'm brought back to the moment when my mother is braiding my long hair for school while I'm yelling at her to just leave my hair alone not realizing the source of friendship that can come from these moments. Now my mother who sees me brushing my hair is suddenly starring. Not realizing that with my long hair that I hated when I was younger and that everyone found weird when I told them my mother does not want me to cut it. Showcased an unbelievable resemblance to my mother at a young age. Who looked like me where she embodied the possession of long natural hair, in which she was able to remember her traditional upbringing in the village of Gundê Eradina in Kurdistan. Seeing me resembling her physical appearance and the exact age has allowed me to understand the importance of why I need to keep my long and natural hair. Not only for my mother to have an escape and source of happiness to cherish unforgettable memories of when she was my age with her long hair. But for the protection and source of strength, I feel when I put my hair down letting it run free while starring at myself in the mirror.
Now I know why I feel unquestionably comfortable with my long hair and why my mother never wanted me to cut it. It's a part of me and my history. It's a part of the resilience of a Kurdish female living in an oppressed society and the idea of freedom by allowing your hair to naturally grow however it chooses to.
do not own credits to cover photo!