All Dolled Up

6 Black women dressed in varying shades of white posed against a brick wall painted in colorful flowers
Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash

you show up
all dolled up
They look at you sideways
talking about “you changed your hair again”
“why are you always changing your hair?”
they have no idea

they have no idea
how many hours it takes
how much coins it takes
they have no idea

they don’t know
about Blue Magic,
about hair grease
about hot combs,
beeswax, gel, custards, puddings

they don’t know about that heat cap
about that hairdryer
about the brushes, denman, boar bristle, toothbrush (yes toothbrush)
The combs wide tooth, rat tail, the combs that snag, pull and snap
The combs that break in two, three and four
They have no idea

so when you pull up
all dolled up
They trying to talk
about if your hair is appropriate
if your hair is professional
if your hair is distracting
if your hair is untidy
they don’t know
They have no idea

they really don’t know
that your hair is your pride
is your culture
is so much more

they don’t know that your style
is your protection
to keep your tresses soft
to keep your coils curled up
to keep your fro bouncy
to keep your strands juicy
They have no idea

they don’t know what they don’t know
so here’s what they should know
when you see a black person
with their hairstyle
if it’s braids, twists, coils, curls,
teenie weenie afro, shaped up, locd up, free up, wigged up, weaved up

If it’s black, brown, blonde, red or rainbow
What you should know is that our hair
is an expression of ourselves
it’s a connection to your ancestors
to the lineage that was lost in that middle passage

You see our hair but what you don’t see
What you can’t know
Is how much care goes into our hair
How much time, energy and money
Sore arms, sore backs, sore thumbs, sore bums

so maybe
instead of talking about black hair
just be quiet

when you see me
all dolled up
Or even a what you think is messed up
just shut up
because you don’t know you have no idea
All you should do
Is sit back
and appreciate.

But do not appropriate



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Monetta Wilson

Monetta Wilson

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