The Big Chop: Finding My Identity as an Ethnic Proud Woman

Updated on March 26, 2018

Culture defines it as a major haircut; cutting off dead damaged ends from heat, chemical, and dye treatments. In black culture, it's the release of our true identity.

Don't believe me... Here's a side by side comparison of me with straight relaxed hair and my curly fro.

From a young age, my mother started relaxing my hair, for manageability. What she didn't realize was that she'll be taking away my true ethnic identity; one that I didn't come to realize until an adult.

Because it was my norm, I continued to relax and straighten my hair. My hair was always sleek, neat, and kept. Conforming to white cultural standards. And I was convinced that my naturally curly hair was not accepted by popular culture.

Since the colonization of the Dominican Republic, the natives of the island were expected to conform to colonizers standards. So the expectations have been passed down for generations. Little colored girls with coily curls and kinks were exposed to lye creams and hot combs at a young age. And discouraged from wearing their beautiful distinct textures. As we wash the lye from our strands, so are our identity and origins.

By college, I started realizing that there were black and ethnic females embracing their natural texture. That was my first exposure to the natural movement. I was curious at that point, but hesitant to take the first steps.

And then my family's hair texture started changing. My cousins and aunts started transitioning and embracing their textures. I was still reluctant for a few more years until one of my aunts approached me one day. With the relaxer kit in hand, she told me to stop relaxing my hair and start embracing my natural God-made texture. Convinced I would be able to handle this new challenge, I "big chopped" May 12th 2017; 5 days before my 28th birthday.

At this point in my life, I was starting to become more independent. I had just moved out of my parent's house to a new state in the west. I've had to learn how to do things for myself for the first time. And caring for my relaxed hair was proving to be a major task.

I've had days where I've regretted the decision because I felt like my hair isn't tamed enough or doesn't represent me as a professional well-tamed woman. And on those same days, I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself "this is me, and I can't change who I am." I'm beautiful in my skin, body, and mind. And there's no cream, heat, or person's opinion that can change me.

The Big Chop represents this big haircut that cuts off the dead damaged ends. But it's bigger than just a chop. It's a self-affirmation that no matter what big changes going on in our lives, we are who we are and we should be proud of our ethnicity, culture, and self-being. My big chop has taught me to embrace my Dominican roots, but it also goes further back to my African roots. It's about embracing and wearing your ancestry. And finally, it shows self-confidence. So fully embrace and love every part of you because the only way this world will accept you is if you accept every single part of yourself.


Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)