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!