Even before Nakyia Whitty got engaged last February, she would think about getting married to her then-boyfriend Javonte Davis and dream about what the wedding would look like. She knew at least one thing: The hair was going to be natural.
Whitty started wearing her hair natural to work about two years ago, after getting inspired by another friend at her office who wore her hair natural on the job. It was an awkward transition.
“I got stares, and it was really weird at first,” Whitty, who works in finance for Sysco, told Cosmopolitan.com. “I got one comment that was like, ‘Oh, wow, you just woke up this morning — it must be easy.'”
She felt scared to leave her cube to go to the printer because she was so self-conscious about her afro.
She tried to go natural but to tame her true texture, watching YouTube beauty tutorials to put her hair into twists. But nothing changed the fact that she had a ‘fro.
“As I grew into my own, I felt that it was beautiful,” Whitty said. Embracing the fullness of her hair, she was determined to be herself at her wedding too. “I wanted my memories to be of black women wearing their own natural hair.”
Happily, it turned out that the women — friends and sisters — who she asked to be in her bridal party also wore their hair natural, and when Whitty revealed that she wanted the group to be all natural on her wedding day, there were no protests.
There were questions from her family, with some people advising Whitty against the hairstyle choice.
“I was told, ‘You need to straighten it for a classic and timeless look,'” she said. “That hurt my feelings. It’s me, it was who I am. I wear it everywhere. So to tell me that I need to tame it or straighten it for my big day, it made me second-guess everything I was doing.”
Ultimately, she stuck with her vision.
“I know the afro is bold, but I wanted to prove that it was going to be beautiful with us just being ourselves.”
And when Whitty and her fiancé Davis wed in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on June 11, she and her six bridesmaids proved without a doubt that natural hair could be classic and timeless. “I can be a professional with my big hair, I can be classy with my big hair, I can go to a black-tie affair with my big hair. I’m here, this is my hair.”
Since then, Whitty’s photos have gone viral, with women celebrating the fact that she went natural on her big day.
“I didn’t think that the world was going to see it,” Whitty said. “I still haven’t gotten over the shock. But I’m happy that the world is seeing it. Maybe this will put a crack in this mirror. You can wear your hair and be yourself.”