Recently, a young lady reached out to me via Sisterlock's Facebook page seeking some major life advice:

I'm getting my Sisterlocks installed on Monday morning. I can't wait! I love your locks and have seen so many beautiful pictures of you. Even though I'm joining the Sisterlocks club, my Mom disapproves. It's strange because she is a very proud Black woman.

My Mother reminds me often to embrace my African heritage yet she finds Locs to be gross. Locks are huge part of African culture. It's disappointing to see this hypocritical attitude coming from my mother on this subject. I tried to reason with my Mom but she gets defensive & judgmental. My mother is also uncomfortable with the fact that I'm in a interracial relationship because of the cultural differences. I'm proud myself (including my heritage) and my individual beauty. How is it now that I'm embracing my beauty through African styles, my pro African mom rejects this idea? Why can't I find someone else from another heritage/culture just as worthy and Handsome/beautiful?

My Love's culture doesn't really have a connection with Locs but he is open to the beauty of them. My Mom who says, "Embrace your Blackness" deems Locs as ugly & dirty looking. This confuses a lot. It's seem like whatever I do is it never good enough & my Mom is never happy for me. I'm reaching out to you for advice. All I wanted was her support & I'm getting everything but that.

I replied to her post and wanted to share some of my reply with others that maybe facing similar difficulties with their mother (or matriarch in their life):
Hello Jane Doe, thank you for reaching out to me. My mother is Haitian born and raised and my father is also from another part of the Caribbean and they were both very anti-locs throughout my entire childhood because there is this stigma associated with dreads related to Rastafarian culture/religion. For a long time it was tightly correlated with rebellion, drug culture and a movement some didn't understand or agree with. I'm not certain, but that could be contributing to some of your mother's views.

Additionally, she may fear you will suffer from some level of discrimination due to your hair, many African and diaspora communities were taught assimilation above all else for their survival. You'll even see this in other cultures touched by colonialism (like in India). This is why only a certain type of black woman was represented in the and accepted as beautiful by society or the media. On some subconscious level this maybe why she and many others are very anti-locs.

Though my parents accepted my hair, it was years fighting many of their other preconceived notions that helped with this. By the time I got locs, they knew me as a thoughtful and careful woman that could make healthy decisions no matter what their fears were.

On another front, mother-daughter relationships are very complicated, I recently read an article from a Georgetown linguistics professor discussing this exact topic - "...mothers want to protect their daughters, so they offer advice that they think will make their daughters' lives easier. Daughters, on the other hand, want approval from their mothers, so they interpret this advice as criticism, as proof that they're imperfect." - sound familiar?

I've grown into my relationship with my mother. I spent many years getting to know her as a person, with her own story. As time went on, she told me more of her childhood hurts, pains and fears. I am now at a point that even if I don't agree with her advice, I understand and respect her advice. I've learned not to internalize her often blunt statements as fuel for my own battle with insecurities, but tried to find some understanding in it.

The article went on to say:
"Here's the person you most want to think you're perfect. Because her opinion matters so much, So if she thinks you're doing things wrong then you must be fatally flawed. And underneath we all worry that we're fatally flawed."

There maybe reasons why she is not comfortable with interracial relationships that are deep rooted in her own past and understandings. I personally feel that our primary job as daughters is to love and respect our mother's narrative and simply learn from them, their strengths and weaknesses, so we maybe even stronger in our own walk on this earth. You have to live your own life, make your own mistakes and experience your own triumphs, and that is a hard thing for a mother to see and contend with. I am happy you know what you want and you sound like you are making thoughtful decisions, continue to do that and continue to love and try to understand if not agree with your mother!

I hope this helps. -Samantha Sophia

Also see my video discussing this same topic below: