Doing the B.C. As An A.D. Woman
If you’re a Christian, you probably see the abbreviation B.C. and immediately start thinking of one of two things:
The thousands of years that occurred before the birth of Jesus Christ
Your life before you repented and believed that Jesus Christ died for your sins.
However, if you’re a black woman, B.C. also means something else: "Big Chop." The term "big chop" is usually used to refer to someone cutting off the vast majority or all of their hair and embracing their natural texture. And I did just that on October 11, 2018.
Before that fateful day, I’d had my hair relaxed for so many years that I couldn't even remember NOT having relaxed hair, but some time around August of this year, I started to question my decision to slather the creamy crack on my locks every eight weeks. Don’t get me wrong — I am not anti-relaxer. I think all hair textures whether natural or chemically altered can be beautiful. However, I started to question whether I was relaxing my hair because I wanted to or because I felt like I had to. Was I subconsciously questioning the way my perfect, loving, no-mistake-making God created me every time I reached for a tub of Mizani? Was I straightening my hair because I didn’t think God got it right by giving me hair that wasn’t long and flowing like that of my Caucasian, Asian, Latina, etc. classmates growing up? Was I relaxing my hair because I didn't have the faith not to? Did I truly believe that I was fearfully and wonderfully made?
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to spend at least a season of my life embracing the way God created me and having the faith to believe that he made me exactly right. I needed to ignore my fears that I would look masculine or be considered unattractive and have faith in God. After all, even if people did see me that way, the beauty that matters to God and lasts into eternity is inner beauty—not the beauty that comes from outward appearance and adornments.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, emphasis added)
So one night, I spontaneously went to Sally Beauty Supply and Target to buy natural hair care products, hair cutting shears, and a set of good ole fashioned Wahl clippers. After cutting off the bulk of my relaxed hair one snip at a time with the shears, I took the clippers and buzzed my hair until it was less than an inch long. Seeing my new self in the mirror was both jarring and frightening. Not only did I look drastically different—I also didn’t have bangs to hide behind. My face and the fledging curls that had grown in since my last relaxer were on full display.
But I felt peace.
Now, it’s been a little over two months since my big chop, and I don’t have some sweeping, dramatic happily—or nappily—ever after story about how I cut off my hair, revamped my life, stumbled upon a new career, and found the perfect man, but I can tell you that God is continuing to reveal to me that my hair’s coarse, curly texture is just as beautiful as finer, wavier, and straighter textures. Cutting off my hair has also given me the chance to share my increasing conviction that God fearfully and wonderfully made all people with all hair textures and of all skin colors.
Of course, I still have days when I feel more insecure than confident and wish my hair would grow faster, but overall I’m very excited to see not just what my hair looks like as it grows, but how my faith evolves as a result of my unexpected hair journey.
Now that you’ve read my story, have you ever changed your looks in a drastic way? How did that affect your self-esteem and your faith? Is there anything about how God made you that you struggle with? Comment with your answers below!
Also, download the wallpaper below for a daily reminder of what true beauty is!