I (Andrea) am so happy to share this post with you! I met Anjae on facebook and was moved by her beautiful writing – I just had to ask her to share her story!
Anjae’s story hits home for me in a personal way as well. I used to teach at a school with many kids from different backgrounds and cultures. I was always flabbergasted by some of the girls who told me how long it took to get their hair braided and how much effort went into the whole process. Many of these girls’ mothers would approach me about my wraps and I would gladly teach them after music class was over. I hope Anjae’s story inspires you as much as me!
Hello, my name is Anjae Hatley. I started wrapping about October of last year. I am biracial. My mother is black and my father is white. I have blue eyes, a thin straight nose and dark, thick, curly hair. People are always trying to figure out “what” I am. Hair was a big issue for me growing up. Being half black, there was the question of, “do you wear it natural, do you relax it, and do you use extensions?” As my grandmother always put it, “you have GOOD hair.” Being half white, I get asked all the time, “Can I touch your hair, or why don’t you straighten it- you look white anyway?” So, for much of my 34 years on this earth, my hair has been the topic of discussion for many people. When I got to college, I cut it off, super short. The woman cutting my hair made me call my mother to ask if it was “ok for her to do this to my curls.” Even after getting it cut, I still had little curls and that was still enough for men and woman to focus on. I could not get away from my own hair, it was something that everyone else seemed fixated on as a measure of my beauty. I love my hair, but I am not going to lie, it’s a lot to handle, especially living in the Midwest. My husband loves seeing me with my hair down, and curly. It makes him happy and it warms my heart to hear him say, “I love your hair like that.” Since I have been wrapping my hair, he has been supportive of my decision to cover my hair.
It’s simple, I started wrapping my hair so that the emphasis can be taken of my physical appearance and put on what matters; me being a good person, being capable at what I do, being an educated woman, etc. By wrapping my hair I feel confident when I leave me house, as before having to do my hair was a hassle and I was always fussing with it. I am so much more than my hair. I wrap because I suffer from anxiety and when I have a beautiful scarf on my head, I feel as though it allows take the time to focus on my wrap I am doing and that gives me the moment of clam I need before I start my day. I wrap because it allows me to be my authentic me. The authentic me that I speak of is a woman that has struggled with identity all her life, and has finally found something that allows me to be, without the emphasis on my physical appearance. The focus is on who I am, not what I look like. I say that stumbling upon Wrapunzel has given me so much more than learning how to wrap, it has given me a community of woman that uplift each other.
Thank you for reading my story!
9 thoughts on “Anjae Speaks About Being a Biracial Wrapunzelista”
What a beautiful (and beautifully written) story! Often when people ask me why I cover my hair they are surprised that in my answer I do not reference men, their gaze, or their opinions at all. I am a celibate, Reconstructionist Jewish woman. I dress in the style I do and cover my hair because I feel stronger, less anxious, more authentically myself, and more powerful. It is my choice where, what, and to whom I expose any part of myself. As well, I am a recovering agoraphobic and I actually feel more ‘armoured’ venturing out of the safety of my home.
May we all find peace, strength, safety, and shelter beneath our beautiful scarves!
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Thanks for sharing your story. I love hearing explanations of the decision to wrap that depart from the expected!
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Wonderful to see another multiracial woman wrapping! And I strongly identify with the decision to wrap because of people fixating on my hair. People of all races are fascinated by my hair because I’m half-Asian. It’s one of the many reasons I wrap, but not the main reason.
Thank you for sharing your story.
Your story touched my heart. I am so sorry to hear that you have had to deal with people judging you, trying to figure “YOU” out, based on your hair. Ugh! And I thought we were living in the 21st Century.
Sorry, I digress. I suppose it just frustrates me because I too am mixed race – White, Latina, Ameri-Indian (or whatever the name of the day seems to be). While I look white, my hair, according to one hairdresser is “Indian Hair”. I remember him wondering what was “up” (my translation = wrong) with my hair. When I told him my background, he was then able to proceed and cut my hair accordingly (but only after he looked past my being white-looking).
I wish the world were more open-minded, open-hearted, etc.
Anyway, you look so beautiful in your wraps. Absolutely beautiful. I must admit, I would have loved to see you in your curls. And bless your hubby’s heart.
Continue to shine on in your beauty and know that there are others like us out there struggling with similar “issues” (that often don’t start with us). Maybe the love we reflect out into the world will make people think twice before they judge us. For in the end, we are all part of the beautiful human race – in all its beautiful colors – ALL OF THEM!
G-d bless us all!
Love to all!
Thank you for your story.
In elementary school, my daughter was one of the only white girls in her class. She has very long, sleek and straight blonde hair. The other girls were obsessed with her hair, and could not stop playing with it. My daughter has sensory issues and does NOT like being touched, even on a good day. She tells me “I can’t wait to get married, so I can cover my hair and get people to stop touching me!”
I love how others also started covering their hair to “blend in.” While my hair covering journey is much different than this, the basic foundation is all the same — there’s no obligation but the opportunity to have less questions is appealing. Less questions means more privacy, just as the rest of the world enjoys, and I want to enjoy it, too. Thanks for sharing your story!
This is so beautiful and resonates with me. Being of African Ancestry myself, I totally get the painful obsession with hair. Wearing the brightest scarf is less distraction than wearing your natural hair in some cases. I cover at work and most public Appearances to avoid the politics and tantrums. I’m so happy to see you found something that works for you.