What Does It Mean To Be "Natural"?
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What does it mean to be natural?

The word natural is a noun, an adjective, and an adverb. So, it can mean many different things. But for the sake of this post let’s go with the adjective definition of “existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind”.

We live in a society where the meaning of words constantly change. But I wonder why the word “Natural”, cause controversy, specifically in the African American community,? Some may say, it’s just a word, but to others, it is a word that represents a lifestyle change, a process that begins with the crown of our head and moves inward through our skin to a deeper part our soul and spirit. “Natural” is interpreted in many ways; for hair it, could be interpreted as using no heat, no chemicals. For the skin, it could meaning using only organic products, or not wearing makeup. When it comes to our food it could mean being vegetarian, vegan, or only eating organic foods.

Regardless of how we interpret the word “natural”, it has changed how women, specifically in the black community see, accept, and love themselves.

One word did that. We now have a community of women inspiring other women. Our men are now appreciating our natural beauty more so than ever and our daughters are being raised understanding that they do not need to conform to the ways of the world to be and feel beautiful. 

But what about the ladies, who haven’t or may never get onboard with this “natural” movement, what about the girls who still dislike their hair, who hate their skin, what about the black women who work in corporate America and are more comfortable with the “professional look” – hair extensions, artificial nails, make-up, pencil skirt, and red bottom high heels? (I was her)

To those young ladies and women, I say this: I love you. You are amazing. You are beautiful. I respect and honor you.

We must understand that not joining "the movement" doesn’t make a woman any less of woman, it doesn’t make her hate herself or a bad role model.

We must understand that we are individuals and are not meant to be the same.

We must understand that regardless of what we look like, we should love each other, collaborate with each other, support each other, and celebrate each other.

I am MY interpretation of “natural” and I love it. I love it so much that I want to inspire others to embrace their natural selves but not at the expense of others who do not think like me. 

Self-Love. Collaboration. Support. I live and breathe this in every aspect of life. So should you!

Vernisha Crawford