Neteral Magazine: Hello, Tanya Clavien thank you for being apart of Neteral Magazine documentry and offering to share your hair experience with us. So tell us about your hair experience and what makes you who you are?
Tanya Clavien: As a little girl I thought nothing of my natural tresses. I LOVED my lengthy, thick hair until somewhere down the line, let’s see, starting at 8 years old, I wanted to do what every one else was doing, and what I mean by everyone else was the black women around me. Natural hair was not looked down upon with the young girls in my family at all. In fact, my hair was praised because of how full and healthy it was. I still wanted to do what I saw being looked up to, much more than what grew out of my scalp.
Neteral Magazine: That’s great because I know as black women or any women of ethnicity we are more than just our hair type and understood that being a young and natural girl and possibly seeing and observing all the black women around you and their hair styles made you realize something vastly different and influential for you to start wearing your hair in a particular way. Did you ever go through a change with your natural hair as in processed it to a particular texture?
Tanya Clavien: I got my hair pressed for the first time for an important event, and after that I got up from that chair from sitting all of those hours, I couldn’t stop staring at myself in the mirror, fingers twirling in my hair with a big smile on my face. I realized that my hair didn’t take a press too well because of its texture and the humidity of that day combined. After that event, I only pressed my hair for school pictures and other events, but I was kept from the straightening comb because of the damage it’s known to cause.
Neteral Magazine: That’s amazing! that most young black girls and women can relate to either the first time that they have pressed their hair for a special event or had change the texture of their hair to accommodate a style for a special event. So, tell us about your hair journey as you grew older?
Tanya Clavien: So as I got older, I knew that my natural hair of the past would not be celebrated in the future, so I mostly wore my hair slicked back with gel in a bun. It was either that or a press, but mostly it was the bun. During junior high and high school when I styled my hair in these two ways, I always thought in the back of my mind why I couldn’t I just wear my hair the way it was naturally? What was the big deal? Pressing for what? Gelling for who? Why do I have to conform to anybody’s standard? It was annoying and frustrating. Why do some of us black women feel that our hair is not good enough to wear in it’s natural state? It is because we are programmed by the ones around us, that a young lady has to look a “certain way”. And that way is not wearing your hair in its natural state. It is pretending to be someone else, that’s what it is. We are also programmed by the media that kinks are unacceptable and unattractive. I believed the lie that my hair was unmanageable, and it needed to be “tamed”.
Neteral Magazine: We most certainly agree with you in regards to the precedence of black women or black young girls today, that they should not have to change who they are or how they look just to fit into a standard of style and beauty other than the natural beauty of who and what they are. “Hair” being one accessory that we can re-verse the standard of beauty by accepting the natural texture, length, color and natural appearance of our own hair as black women today. In which, NETERAL is starting discover a lot of black women are starting to truly embrace their natural hair and come up with exquisite styles that natural and astonishing.
Tanya sat smiling to herself, and expressed her appreciation of her natural hair as we were coming to a close for Neteral one on one interview with Tanya Clavien
Tanya Clavien: I remember the day I said “expletive it”. I’m wearing my hair like this ( She pointed to her natural hair ), and I don’t care what anyone thinks! Guess what! after-all it didn’t matter to anyone else. I felt free, and most of all, I felt relieved. I could be myself, finally! This is me, no front.
Neteral Magazine: And Miss Clavien, you are indeed naturally beautiful, and continue to present yourself with much confidence as a young black woman today. The world don’t care about what you want or wish to be……the world only care about and will embrace who you are. This is why “Neteral” is putting together a magazine that promotes natural beauty and exudes the natural appearance of black women in particular today as they are. Is their anything else that you will like to share?
Tanya Clavien: Thank you; I apperciate that— it is amazing how when I look at natural hair now, I see it as the most gorgeous hair anyone can have. We are truly blessed as black women to have the type of hair that we have. No one else has it, it looks best with our features, and it can be manipulated into a multiplicity of styles. Did I mention that it is absolutely gorgeous. NETERAL Magazine celebrates natural hair, being that the women featured in NETERAL must have natural hair. It is much more than hair, it is what ties us to one another, what identifies us as a group of people.
Neteral Magazine: We couldn’t have disagreed with you at all, thank you for your time and sharing your hair experience and what makes you who you are.
Tanya Clavien: My pleasure. You are welcome; and thank you for taking the time to interview me.