I love the way they look. I love they way I feel, when I wear one. And, I love how they really make me stand out in a crowd. When I wear a wrap, I feel as though I am wearing a crown. I experiment with the way I achieve my different styles of headwraps constantly, freestyling my way through, and allowing the scarf or fabric to tell me where it should go. For this reason, my wraps never are– and never can be– exactly the same way twice (much to my own frustration when I really nail a great look, and don’t know how to recreate it).
In years past, I only relied on headwraps as a way to remedy an unfortunate hairdo. But, once I began to look for more options to add to my protective styling repertoire, I realized that headwraps and turbans were so much more than a “last resort.”
I love the way they look. I love they way I feel, when I wear one.
When I wear a wrap, I feel as though I am wearing a crown.
Optimism is always the harder choice. But, it is still a choice we can make.
Dr. King’s life was taken far before he was able to see some of his dreams come true, and yes, many of his dreams do remain out of reach. Nevertheless, many never thought we’d get even this far. And, that alone makes me choose optimism.
I wear headwraps and turbans anywhere and everywhere, challenging notions of whether there are times when a wrap is “inappropriate,” and showing that what matters most is presentation, and how you carry yourself. There are still many who feel that headwraps are not fit to be worn outside of the house, that they cannot be worn to work, or in other professional settings. While this debate seems to be a relatively trivial matter, I think it echoes a broader sentiment of pressures to conform to American or European standards of what is acceptable or beautiful. When I wear a headwrap to work, it is not because I am trying to make a statement, or be political. It is quite the opposite. I wear headwraps because they are beautiful. That’s all. If any person agrees or disagrees, so be it. If seeing me in a turban causes someone to rethink his or her ideas of what is lovely or “acceptable,” then that’s okay too. I do believe that, eventually, we’ll reach a point where we won’t even have to worry about whether someone will think a headwrap is “inappropriate.” I look forward to no longer even hearing debates as to whether a turban or wrap is okay to wear to work or church.
This Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Day. On a recent visit home to New York, I had the privilege of seeing a Broadway play, The Mountaintop, which is a fictional account of Dr. King’s last night. Without revealing too much about it, the overwhelming sentiment that I took from the play was optimism. In times of strife, our instincts can often betray us, causing us to dwell on our struggles. Dwelling in the pain of the past (and often the present) becomes second nature. Optimism is always the harder choice. But, it is still a choice we can make. We can and must give reverence to past, in order to appreciate the present. We can and must assess the present, so we can decide our future. But we mustn’t let ourselves forget about optimism. Dr. King’s life was taken far before he was able to see some of his dreams come true, and yes, many of his dreams do remain out of reach. Nevertheless, many never thought we’d get even this far. And, that alone makes me choose optimism.
[Photographer: G. Lewis Heslet]