Opinion | Sexuality

Christ and My Curly Hair

Attempts to undo my wiry hairdo had grown to idolatrous proportions - and taken up three whole months of my life.

This spring, a friend asked me to accompany her to Africa to document the labors of a nonprofit working in microfinance. She told me we'd be traveling to a number of remote villages to complete our assignment.

Instead of a dewy-eyed, "I'll go wherever God sends me," or even the sturdy old-stall tactic, "Let me pray about it," my first thought was, How will I blow dry my hair?

My vain response forced a long, hard look in the mirror, and not just so I could prep for another day of battle with wiry, frizzy hair. I'd sat through decades of sermons and Bible studies telling me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, urging me to love myself because God loved me. All this self-acceptance talk may as well have been spoken to me in Portuguese. A demanding little idol called the Straight Hair god had rendered the message unintelligible.

As a young girl, I learned about the Straight Hair god from shampoo commercials and TV, and my "Ellis Island" hair wasn't it. My natural `do makes me look a lot ...

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