Necole: You revealed your new hairstyle at a show at Albany State University right?
Chrisette: I didn’t really plan to reveal it. I was at a show and I had a hat on so when I went backstage there was a bunch of kids with cameras. They saw the front of my head and since it was so light blond and close to my skin complexion they made headlines that I had shaved my head bald. I was a bit disappointed. I did cut my hair off. It’s a quarter inch. It’s not shaven but I was so over the hair damage and everything I was dealing with having the other hair style so I said that I was going to go back natural.
Necole: When I posted your photos to my blog with the quote from you on why you decided to go natural, there were over 200 Comments. I didn’t expect that. I remember one comment in particular said that “Women who have natural hair look down on women who prefer to relax their hair because they secretly hate their own hair” and so forth. It was like a battle between those who prefer natural hair and those who prefer relaxed hair.
Chrisette: It’s so interesting to me because my thing is I always want to bring unity. For me it’ll never be a battle between a natural sister and a relaxed sister. It’ll always be what’s best for you and what’s best for me is having the healthiest hair possible. I’m a girl who has always had healthy hair and getting into the music industry has ruined my hair care regimen because you have to be on 10 all the time. So the easiest way for me to be on 10 is to be on 10 naturally……
Afrobella: Is there pressure in the industry on female artists of color to conform to a certain standard of beauty?
Chrisette: There’s definitely pressure… I try not to admit it sometimes because I hate the appearance of insecurity. The honest truth is you wonder if you’ll get the same attention if you don’t look like every one else. I’ve been able to tear down the issue of curvy girls in the industry. I’ve been able to have 2 successful albums and Grammy attention as well as an award, Billboard chart attention and television, and magazine attention. There’s still more work and stereo types to be smacked down, but with grace and honesty and an understanding tongue, I believe that people will begin to see beauty comes in many more forms then what we expose to the public. I am beautiful and I believe that there are many beautiful women to which I can give a voice.
Afrobella: Talk to me about the decision you’ve made recently. I saw photos of you with your hair cut really really short, but you’re wearing a hat. Did you shave your head, or is this a big chop, to start afresh with your natural hair texture? What inspired you to go natural again?
Chrisette: My hair and I had a really bad argument. She was being sprayed with alcohol and burnt with irons… She was being over processed and yanked and pulled by weave strings and suffocated by glue. She told me if I didn’t straighten up and fly right that she was leaving. I was out on tour, and day after day of this torturous regimen I began to feel like I was hurting myself. I wasn’t being fair to my body. I was ingesting and supporting harsh products and literally ruining myself beginning with my hair. I told my band and tour family that when we all landed home in 6 weeks I would apologize to myself and begin a new relationship with myself beginning with my hair….
Here’s a poem by Ms. Michele as well…
For Freedom Not For Beauty
There’s a beauty that lives so deep inside each of us.
There’s a fickle eye
that doesn’t believe anything it sees.
There’s a benefit in love that erases all doubt and believes good intentions.
There’s an ear that isn’t free enough to give the honest man the benefit of the doubt cluttered by lies not-mentioned.
Since when is creativity subject to criticism?
When is honesty subject to a jury of fears who wouldn’t believe rain if it fell, or sun if it shined?
Sometimes a flower grows when no ones watching.
Sometimes a bird sings and no one hears.
There’s a meadow no one runs on and a cloud no one names.
And what would the sky be with out the sun?
What would the earth be with out its rose?
They’d still be the sky and the Earth.
So perhaps there is a peace in becoming.
Perhaps the meaning is in the experience and not the sight.
Maybe a flower grows because it suffocates under ground.
Whether or not she is always noticed, beauty must become.
She doesn’t look for an eye.
She doesn’t listen for a voice.
She just becomes,
For Freedom Not For Beauty