Raw thoughts: “A court of Mist and Fury”

So we are on round number two reading the series of ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas. And I wish I could do a very cute book photo somewhere in the appartment or somewhere in the town to make it “fancy”. But when you are still in a pandemic scenario, I don’t think I have many options apart of my pyjama and my kindle to read.

Now in the second book of this series, I am starting to pull my own hair because…is getting cheesy. While I do think the idea or the story itself is pretty interesting, there are just things that were poor developed and ultimately I don’t know if I want to hate or like the book.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the book this might ruin the experience. If you had, I wish we could share some thoughts about it. And if you are not someone who reads books in general, I hope you don’t mind this either.

“A court of Mist and Fury” is about overcoming traumas, finding true love, family and friendship and deciding what you stand for. Something I liked about this book is the writer wanted to bring out subjects like: PTSD, sexual abuse, toxic relationships (in general, not just romantic ones) and diversity on characters. While there was a good intention, the approach was lacking unfortunately. And since is a more romance oriented story, the political and worldbuilding felt insuficient. I say this because the book is written from the protagonist point of view and almost everything is just told but little shown. I wish Feyre had more actual conversations with the others characters than spending the big part of the reading in her head and kind of being forced to “accept” her conclusions and assumptions. The moment other characters get to “talk”, is often their whole life, which makes the reading slow pacing and heavy. Now, this story has brought a lot of discussions in forums like Reddit or GoodReads and I have spent some time reading people’s opinion and I think is interesting how we all have different ways of interpreting what we read. Let me focus on the main characters and their love interaction.

We have Feyre, Rhysand and Tamlin. This love triangle is a hot mess and while I don’t particularly care who ends up with who, I felt that there is this two sides where people over love Rhysand and over hate Tamlin. In my case, I can’t pick sides because one charactars has a system support that the other doesn’t, so at the end, I just want to know the root of EVERYTHING. SJM shows that the ‘bad guy’ isn’t always the one you think. Tamlin showed no problematic character traits until he began to trigger and exacerbate Feyre’s PTSD. The problem is he went from 0 to 100 as a change and same goes with Rhysand.

I am really not so into two guys fighting over a girl or viceversa. While Rhysand, somehow, has more strenght to help Feyre overcome her traumas and be a better version of herself while at the same time he has his traumas too (PTSD, sexual abuse and more). He appears to be the healthiest option for Feyre, since is more focused on her healing and not everyone’s overall healing, it felt like other’s characters were invalidated. I would have waited a whole book just so everybody could heal. But we need the drama, isn’t it?

In general, she heals quite a lot but there are also other consequences due to bittirness not only from Feyre but also others characters, so it kind of feels like everyone needs therapy and talk things out, even thoug they prefer, first, to throw the fist.

Now, I would like to highlight an specific moment in the book that made happy and I found it cute. Where Feyre is training her body with Cassian, one of Rhysand’s best friends. He bluntly asks her about the letter she sent to Tamlin to presumably ‘break up’ but she doesn’t take it that well. What I liked about this part is that Cassian adknowledged and took accountability for his actions and said something like “I was insensitive and I am very sorry. If you need to talk about it, I’m here”. And yes, that type of things melt my heart, hehehe.

So far I liked the first book better than this one. I started the third book and I will just wait how everything goes. Thank you for reading and for your time.

Jojo♥

Raw thoughts: “A court of thorns and roses” by Sarah J. Maas

Hello there beautiful reader! I’m back after weeks without posting anything. Sadly I literally didn’t have anything to write. Or actually, I had/have a lot in my head I could think of writting about but I just wasn’t having it. Oh, these mood swings… Inspiration coming like my period…ok, sorry.

Fortunately, one of my friends suggested me to start reading books so we could comment about it and I thought “THAT IS A VERY FUN AND GREAT IDEA!”. She even created a little Book group and is fun. My dearly friend: THANK YOU♥.

This post will talk about my introduction to the writer’s series “A court of thorns and roses” which was published in 2015. However, there are in total of 4 books, the last one will be released this 2021.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the book this might ruin the experience. If you had, I wish for you to share your thoughts. And if you are not someone who reads books in general, I hope you don’t mind this either, hahaha. By the way, this is MY opinion of the first book, so is the first time I kind of “review” something.

The book starts with the main character Feyre Archeron, who for circumstances of life, ends up taking care of her family after losing everything to a huge debt. She also loses her mother to an illness and all together happened when she was a little girl, so she jumps from childhood to survival mode. Her father is crippled and so depressed he can’t even provide for the family, the two sisters start relying on Feyre to eat. The oldest sister appears as a cold person who doesn’t appreciate all the efforts the protagonist does for the family, though she knows but never tells Feyre, and the other sister (Feyre is the youngest) gives the vibe of being in the clouds, but remains her kindness despite the circumstances. So Feyre in a sense, is the scapegoat of her family, which by definition is “[…]one person is chosen to bear the brunt of any psychological discomfort experienced by the family as a whole.[…]” . more info

She takes on the caretaker role because she made a promise on her mother’s deathbed that she would take care of the family. No by choice. So she hunts to feed herself and her family, she learns alone how to move in the world, but they are always at the edge of dying, their poverty can only let them live day by day. And you would think “Damn, what a disgusting family” (I thought that and still do), and you would expect more development of their characters while reading. Thankfully the sisters do change (not a lot, is the first book), but how I see it, the father doesn’t. It was frustrating to “see” their family as never grateful for all that she has done for them. Besides that, she has a “situationship” with a guy from the same town, which is basically meeting sometimes to “relieve” the stress of life (yes, they had only a sexual relationship). And this particular relation makes me think how the protagonist starts her love and sexual life only from a basic human need, or at least that’s how I interpreted it, and not more in a romantic way. By the circumstances, she actually doesn’t have time for that. They only relate to each other in the fact that they are poor and young, and the emotional support that she needed wasn’t met by him. But again, you can’t expect much when the character is only 19 years old, right? Essentially, she doesn’t understand love, because she never had it from her own family in the first place and not even before the mother died.

As a protagonist she is relatable in the sense that she doesn’t know “everything” and is not the typical super “feminine” girl, virgin and she is illiterate and you can sense that in the way the book is written, because all is from her point of view (which lead to lack of details of other characters), yet I liked the way she would describe everything she sees, it feels raw and honest and that’s actually dope. The writing still could have been better, because even tho she is illiterate, she uses very fancy words. Bruh. But furthermore, her luck changes when she kills a wolf and that’s when she enters, finally, the realm of Fae (fairies) where she gets involved in curses, love, treasons and the history behind the war between humans and Faes. And this part is the “Introduction arc”.

“Spring court arc”

During this arc, Feyre has to abandon her family as punishment for killing a fairy. And while you are not precisely excited of been kidnapped, her father tells her to stay away from them if she gets to scape. That either is out of love so she doesn’t have to suffer and gets to start a new life somewhere else or that’s all he can say since he isn’t able to do anything for her anyway. After all that she leaves with the fairy wolf.

Arriving to the court she meets the characters from the Spring court, who happen to have all their faces covered with masks that is not possible to remove due to a curse. A curse that can be broken only if she falls in love with the High Lord of the Spring court, who also happens to be the fairy wolf, Tamlin. Yeah, there you go your retelling of the “Beauty and the Beast” and the legend of “Tam Lin”. She also meets Lucien, the right hand of Tamlin, and Alis, one of the maids in the house. Then, since they are cursed they can’t explain why and how to solve it but they manage to let Feyre “discover” clues on the way.

“The sex ritual arc”

Ok. This is NOT a very nice way to put it, but that’s how I felt it, hahaha. In this part she meets the bad guy who isn’t really the bad guy, but she doesn’t know because she is clueless.

In one part of the history, there is a ritual that has to be held to restore something about magic (I really can’t go into details, because spoilers are already too much) and to do that, all males and females gather in a cave to have a sex party. Basically. YUHU! Feyre was told not to go, but she is this curious baby that needs to see, only to get almost raped by 3 unknowns guys and then saved right away by the bad guy who isn’t really the bad guy, whose name is Rhysand. They say to each other “hey, what’s up” and she leaves but can’t because she is still too curious about the ritual and THEN Lucien finds her in the middle of the crowd and takes her back to mansion and tells her is not a night to be around. Implying that even Tamlin wouldn’t differenciate between good and right. But she doesn’t listen and gets at the end, sexually assaulted by Tamlin. In the book there is an explanation for his behaviour, but still, is not okey. Also Feyre seems to start liking Tamlin so this “sexy” scene gets overlooked.

“The truth essay arc”

So after all the things going on, Tamlin and Feyre fall in love with each other and while it depends on Feyre to tell Tamlin she loves him in order to break the curse, she never tells him. It doesn’t matter anymore because she wasn’t really feeling it and Tamlin sees that (I guess so) so he decides to send her back to her family and maybe that way he saves her from the now expired curse.

Later on she decides to come back to the Spring court to try to save him and everybody. Only to be dragged down under a Mountain where she is forced to agree on risking her life to prove humans can love, save everyone under this curse the villain Amarantha put and go back to his love Tamlin. And while doing all the challenges that literally put her to the edge of death, she gets a lot of help too. You know the protagonist CAN NOT DIE. So she gets help from Lucien (and he pays the price), Rhysand and other side characters. But Tamlin…while he is subjected to Amarantha, he doesn’t do anything to talk to Feyre, but the very moment he gets to move around and gets to see her, he wants to have sex with her instead of atually find a way for her to escape. I don’t know if the dude just gave up and thought it’s better to die with the best image of his mind, hahaha. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you kill a character in the most strange way.

But don’t worry, everybody gets the freedom because Feyre lights the bulb in the last moment to the riddle that would free immediately everyone by saying “love”. That riddle was not original. The she almost dies because even after resolving the riddle and passing the challenges, Amarantha practically breaks her neck out of anger, but when Tamlin kills Amarantha, then all the High Lords of the courts give a little of their power to bring Feyre back to life, makin gher into an inmortal and everyone lives happily ever after.

NO.

While this is a book a consider a guitly pleasure, it was cringe for me in so many ways about the relationships between the characters and I’m more political, action and self-growth type of reader, so the other subjects in the book were overlooked and didn’t developed how I would have expected. And because this series has 3 more books and one novela, I gonna rant about them too! Muahaha. Let me try do add a video with me explaining some extras. https://youtu.be/gyyo7bvVBxg

I will continue on reviewing this series but I should do it by parts because is really hard to put all together even if I wanted to. Thank you for reading and for your time and hope you enjoyed it.

Jojo♥

Raw thoughts: My experience on Twitch

This blog is going to be about my experience as an streamer.

First of all I would like to say that I am currently taking a long break from streaming. In fact, due to work and studies I haven’t been able to since last summer 2020. A part of that, streaming has been an overwhelming experience, both positive and negative. Of course, there is more positive than negative, but I want to focus a little bit more on the negative and how that made me discover more about myself. Eventually learn more about myself. In addition to thar, the positive sides came after learning. Redundant, isn’t it? Hehe.

When I first started I did it because of the money. I know, it sounds terrible, but at that time I didn’t know if I was going to find a job and I was worried so I thought it was a good idea. I never stopped searching for a job, but still starting all this for the sake of money isn’t really clever IF you don’t have a plan. And if you start believing is going to be easy, because you see the successful streamers, without considering how long and hard they been working, then you are destined to fail. Plus, there is so much competition on any streaming platform that you end up doing exactly what others are doing, so originality is hard to craft and find. Let’s go by parts:

  • Originality: as I mentioned before, being original is hard because you want to succee fast as others, so you end up copying others “formulas” (designs, gadgets, even the way you present yourself, etc.) and you think you will become popular the same way and at the same speed. NO. I was trying to find a shortcut all the time. Not to mention (well, yes) what I like other people like too, so in a sense I was streaming the same content as other thousand streamers. Therefor the “key” to get more attention resides heavely on your personality. In my case, I deal with the fact that I am shy even though I love speaking with new people, or rather listen to them; and also I love entertaining. As someone who has danced and perfomed in the past and has loved it so much, I found myself contradicted and shocked. I didn’t think streaming woul be difficult. But is not the same preparing for months with the help of your dance teacher to perform for an even and audience than prepare all your content on your own.
  • Jealousy: Yes, I felt jealous from others, liked them or not. Not only was I jealous, but selfish, greedy and maybe a little be narcissistic. I was comparing myself to thers and to people that I actually liked I was starting to be less truthful (?) and eventually started interacting less and less. Now, the people I wasn’t really vibing with is not like I disliked them but more like their values and ways of doing things were not aligning with mine (the ‘follow per follow’ practice, for example) so that also makes me an hypocrite. Isn’t that ugly? I couldn’t see my own mistakes. I was always expecting something from others and I thought also others were expecting something in return from me. I became so upset with myself.

“Comparision is the theft of joy”

  • Put in the work: All my energy went wasted beating myself and minding other people’s business. Because of that, I never improved much and eventually got nothing DONE. And I could blame other factors as much as I want, but that wouldn’t fix my lack of discipline and responsability, which again, leads to NOTHING. At the end is all on me.
    And yes, motivation is not something you always have, but I learnt that I can go on my own speed, my way. Again, redundant and obvious. But sometimes you need to be reminded of basic things like this to slow down. So I needed to relearn again that I don’t need to rush for the sake of being in the same level as others. I wass too focused in this vicious circle that I couldn’t really appreciate the support I was getting so far and I want to deeply apologize for that. I was disrespectful and ungrateful. Eventually I felt I didn’t deserve that support and vanished. I was so mad at myself. I literally didn’t like ME. But I am also very grateful for the people that helped me, adviced me, supported me and cheered me up.

“Only the people that do less than you, critize”.

  • Self-steem. A lot of times, when I was streaming, I would be worried for things like: the camera to show myself, and if I was showing myself I was worrying if I looked good enough, putting makeup or not, being well dressed or not, may hair, the way my voice sounds, my natural reactions to what I was doing both in games and cooking streams. I would worry for the way I speak, my humor or my intelligence and if people would find me interesting. I also would panic to think about people seeing my flaws and being criticized. It was like my mind was all over the place. In a sense you want the stream to be spontaneous, but at the same time you need to keep some profesinalism if you want it to work. You need to take care of your mental health. In a sense all this sounds like I am and was very hard on myself, but I been so impatient that I wasn’t enjoying the journey of building something I want.

    I had to step away and reflect on myself and I am happy that I could see that part of me that isn’t that pretty, not just because this experience but also everything I been dealing in my life. I am a work in process but acknowledging all this lifted a weight from my shoulders and I been feeling better. Specially during 2020, which was a year full of emotional roller coasters for everybody. That humbled me.

    During last year I was wondering about how others streamers felt and if they would talk about it, if they have experienced the same. Maybe some did, maybe some don’t or didn’t, maybe some are about to experience it. I wish we could talk about these kind of things, but I know is easier said than done. I know others go through a lot of stuff too.

    In our era, we only show the end results, the good side, what is nice, but very little do we show the every step we take to get to the goal we set.

    BREATH. ONE STEP AT TIME. EVERYTHING WIL BE ALRIGHT.

    Lastly but very important: THANK YOU FOR READING, FOR LISTENING AND FOR BEING HERE. I hope this topic was of your interest and that any thoughts you would have about this and if you would like to share, are very welcomed and appreciated.

    Jojo.

Una historia sobre crespos.

Mi “yo” actual

Crespos: nombre o sobrenombre que se le da a los rizos en Venezuela 🙂

Nací en Venezuela y vengo de una familia muy humilde con sus problemas disfuncionales, como en toda familia. También soy una mujer negra. Para mucha gente, no soy la típica chica venezolana y eso es porque Venezuela siempre ha sido famosa por sus competiciones de belleza y sus presidentes … * tos *. Y de hecho, estas mujeres que nos representan son hermosas, pero nunca me representaron a mí como mujer negra. Siempre fueron de ascendencia europea. Siempre que alguien me preguntaba de dónde era y yo decía que era venezolana, se sorprendían mucho y decían “Oh, pero no pareces venezolana, pareces brasileña o africana”. En principio me ofendía, porque solía pensar que la gente sabía dónde estaba Venezuela, pero ¡me equivoqué! Todavía hoy en día me encuentro con gente que no sabe dónde está mi país. Es más, muchas veces yo tampoco sé dónde están algunos países, jejeje. Pero ahora ya no tengo la misma sensación, me siento orgullosa. Deberíamos dejar de asumir lo que creemos que los demás saben de nuestra cultura.

Volviendo al tema, el cabello ha sido siempre muy importante para mí. Recuerdo las colitas (gomas de pelo) de colores, los diferentes estilos que mi mamá solía hacerme e incluso los tirones (non grato), pero me gusta pensar que mi mamá siempre trató de hacer que mi cabello natural fuera saludable. Sin embargo, ella y mi abuela siempre se alisaban el cabello. Y me sentía rara porque no entendía por qué mi cabello no era como el de ellas. Mi abuela hasta el día de hoy no sabe cómo cuidar su cabello natural, no sabe cómo es. Honestamente, no recuerdo comentarios malintencionado sobre mi cabello por parte de ellas, especialmente de mi padre que siempre se opuso a que mi cabello fuera liso de pequeña, pero yo siempre comparaba mi cabello con el de las chicas de cabello liso. Incluso me tapaba la cabeza con una toalla para fingir que lo tenía así. En ese momento para las niñas coo yo no teníamos mucha representación e incluso en las famosas novelas venezolanas, la gente negra siempre fueron personajes secundarios para los personajes principales, y para el papel femenino específicamente, siempre fue una mujer blanca con rasgos europeos. Y si salía actrices de piel oscuras, éstas siempre llevaban su cabello alisado. Cuando se trata de cabello, cualquier patrón rizado, especialmente el más afro, se consideraba “pelo malo”, por lo que en el momento en que llegas a la adolescencia, ves a las chicas haciéndose permanentes para alisarlo.

Una anécdota curiosa: mi mamá quería tratar de plancharme el cabello y déjenme decirles… qué dolor… Imagínense estar tumbada/os en la cama en una posición incómoda y que te planchen el cabello con una plancha de ropa. Jajaja, ¡NUNCA MÁS! Oh, mi padre lo odió y discutió con mamá por ello. Después de eso y a medida que crecía, comencé a ocuparme de mi cabello, solo lo tenía recogido con mucho gel para controlarlo o tenía trenzas. Venezuela fue (lo que recuerdo) una sociedad que siempre se preocupó por la apariencia y necesitabas tener cierto peinado para conseguir trabajo, si no, no tendrías tantas oportunidades en comparación a si usaras tu cabello natural. Esto es algo que mucha gente en América Latina no reconoce: tenemos el racismo y el colorismo interiorizado y muchos prejuicios hacia los negros.

Diría que tenemos una dinámica similar a la de Estados Unidos en Venezuela cuando se trata de personas negras y cabello afro, pero al mismo tiempo es diferente. A pesar de ello, cuando se trata de mi experiencia cuando me mudé a España, mis inseguridades empeoraron porque pasé toda mi adolescencia rodeada de gente con el pelo lacio y rasgos europeos y viviendo como una minoría, cuando ese no era realmente el caso en mi país de origen. Y no es que le eche la culpa a las personas de cabello lacio, pobres, jeje; pero me comía tanto la cabeza… Pasé los primeros 3 años en la escuela secundaria pasando por muchas facetas (punk, latina, emo, hiphop, etc.) pero siempre iba con mi caello recogido o mis trenzas, combinadas con el delineador de ojos súper oscuro y atrevido por todo el ojo (estilo panda y esas cosas ). Oh, desearía tener fotos, pero tal vez sea mejor que no, jajaja. Además, tenía el habitual enamoramiento adolescente hacia los chicos mayores, así que para tratar de que se fijaran en mí (acéptenlo, todas hemos hecho esto de una manera u otra, chicas), así que fui y me hice la permanente. Pensé que parecerme a las otras chicas me ayudaría. No era la primera vez, pero definitivamente fue molesto y no estaba tan contenta como pensaba. Cuando haces algo por los demás y no por ti mismo/a, no te sientes bien pero no puedes parar, porque solo te preocupa ser parte del grupo. No puedes describir el sentimiento porque simplemente no lo entiendes en ese momento. Pagas un precio muy alto por intentar ser como los demás: tu autoestima simplemente se va al inframundo, descartas los buenos rasgos de tu personalidad, porque entiendes que las mujeres tenemos cierto valor dependiendo de lo hermosas que sean; y cada vez que alguien te hace un cumplido, simplemente no puedes aceptarlo, porque estas en tal círculo vicioso que no ves más allá. Y todas las latinas y chicas africanas tuvimos la misma lucha cuando se trataba de nuestro cabello. Después de todo, éramos una minoría.

En una época en la que comencé a descubrir mi feminidad, mi identidad e incluso mi sexualidad, pasé por muchos cambios porque solo quería ser y sentirme bonita y popular (qué superficial la parte popular, lo sé). Pero luego cumplí 15 años y me harté. Estaba cansada de tratar de parecerme a las otras chicas y decidí dejar de alisarme el cabello y soltar mis rizos. Decidí conocer mi cabello e ir con él en lugar de ir en contra. Y es cierto, el cabello afro es como tener otro trabajo, es como pedir una cita para la peluquería, pero en tu casa, es como prepararte mentalmente para mimar tu cabello durante horas para que no se convierta en paja, para sentirte como una diva que tiene un cabello que desafía la gravedad y la singularidad. Jijiji.

Y nuevamente, no es que nuestro cabello deba definirnos como individuos, pero para mí fue un paso para comenzar a aceptarme y amarme a mí misma, aunque todavía es un trabajo en progreso y tropiezo muchas veces, incluso muchas veces en un solo día. Desde la plancha hasta la coleta, pasando por el pelo liso, pasando por trenzas con extensiones. Para volver a relajar mi cabello y luego un gran corte para empezar todo el proceso de nuevo… Sin embargo, creo que estoy en un mejor lugar con respecto a mi cabello y a mis misma. Ahora lo disfruto mucho y sé que mi cabello es hermoso.

Sí, me cambia la cara cuando me cambio de peinado.

Sé que este blog se hizo un poco largo, pero espero no haya sido aburrido, jejeje. Muchas gracias por tu tiempo, lector, y por leer.

Jojo

Curly story.

The current ‘me’

I was born in Venezuela and I come from a very humble family with, like any other family, its dysfunctional problems. Also I am a black woman. For a lot of people, I am not your typical venezuelan girl and that’s because Venezuela has always been famous for its beauty pegeants and its presidents…*cough*. And indeed, these ladies representing us are beautiful, but they never represented me as a black woman. They were always of european descent. Whenever someone asked where I was from and I said I was venezuelan, they would be very surprised and said “Oh, but you don’t look venezuelan, you look like brasilian or from Africa”. At first I felt offended, because I used to think people knew where Venezuela was, but oh, was I wrong! I still meet people today who doesn’t know where my country is and I don’t know either where a lot of countries are, hehehe. But now in days I feel proud because I identify myself as black. We should stop assuming what we think others know.

Going back to the subject, hair is been a huge thing for me all my life. I remember the colorful hair ties, the different styles my mom tried on me and even the pullings (not the best ones), but I like that my mom always tried to make my natural hair healthy, yet she and my grandma would always relax and straight their hair. And I would feel weird about it because I didn’t understand why my hair wasn’t like theirs. My grandma to this day, though, doesn’t know how to take care of natural hair, she doesn’t know how is her hair. I honestly don’t remember bad comments about my hair from my mom or grandma, not even my father who always opposed my hair to be straight, but I would always compare my hair to the girls with straight hair. I even would put a towel over my head to pretend it was straight. At the time we didn’t have much representation for the little girls like me and even the famous venezuelan novelas (soap operas), the black people were always a support for the lead characters, and for the female role specifically, it was always a white woman. All the dark-skinned ladies on tv would wear relaxed straight hair. When it comes to hair, any curly pattern, specially the most kinky one, was considered “bad hair”, so the moment you reach your teenage years, you see girls relaxing their hair to make it straight. In one instance, my mom wanted to try to iron my hair and let me tell you what a pain… Imagine laying down in bed in a uncomfortable position and getting your hair ironed with an actual iron for clothes?! Hahaha, NEVER AGAIN. Oh, my father hated it and got into arguments with mom for that. After that and the more I grew older, I started to deal myself with my hair, I would just have it in a ponytail with a lot of gel to control it or I would have braids. Venezuela was (what I remember) a society that always cared about looks and you needed to have a certain hair style to get jobs, if not you wouldn’t have as many opportunities as if you wear your natural hair. This is something a lot of the people in Latin America don’t aknowledge: we do have internalized racism and a lot of prejudices towards black people.

I would say we have kind of similar dynamics as USA in Venezuela when it comes to black people and black hair but at the same time is different. But when it comes to my experience when I moved to Spain, my insecurities got worse because I spent all my teenage years surrounded by people with straight hair and european features and living like a minority, when that wasn’t really the case in my home country.

I spent the first 3 years in high school going through many phases (punk, latina, emo, hiphop,etc…) but always wore my ponytail or my braids, combined with the super dark bold eyeliner like the whole circle (panda style and whatnot). Oh, I wish I had photos, but maybe better not? Besides, I had the usual teenager crush on the older boys so to try to make them notice me (accept it, we all do this all the time in one way or another, ladies), so I went and relaxed my hair. I thought that looking like the other girls would help me. It wasn’t the first time but it definetely was annoying and sad. When you do something for others and not for yourself, you don’t feel good but can’t stop it, because you just want to be accepted. You can’t describe the feeling because you just don’t understand it in that moment. You pay a big price for trying tobe like others: your self-steem just goes to underworld, you dismiss the good traits of your personality, because you know, women have a certain worth depending on how beautiful they are; and whenever someone actually gives you a compliment, you just can’t accept it, because all the expectations and wishful hopes you had end up crashed. And all the latinas like me or the african girls had the same struggle when it comes to our hair. We were a minority after all.

In a age when I started descovering my femininity, my identity and even my sexuality, I went through so many changes because I just wanted to be and feel pretty and popular (how shallow). But then I turned 15 and I just had enough. I was tired of trying to look like the other girls and I decided to stop straighting my hair and let my curls down. I decided to get to know my hair and go with it instead of going against it. And it’s true, black hair is like having another job, is like getting an appointment for the hair salon, but at your house, is like to get mentally ready to pamper your hair for hours so it doesn’t turn into straw, to feel like a freaking diva who has a hair that defies gravity and uniqueness.

And again, is not like our hair should define us as individuals, but for me was a step to start accepting myself and to love myself, though is still a work in progress and I do stumble a lot of times, even many times in a day. From the iron to the ponytail to straight hair to braids with extensions. To relax again my hair and then big chop to start over, I am in a better place with my hair, I feel beautiful and I do think and feel my hair is very beautiful.

Yes. My face changes with each hair style.

I know this post is pretty long, but I hope I didn’t make it boring, lol. Thank you for your time and for reading.

Sincerely, Jojo.