Terri eats cake and talks about deciding to stop relaxing her hair

This is Terri:

how old are you?

I’m a twenty-something year old trapped in a pre-teens body. It’s true. I’ve got a baby face, am hardly five feet tall, and barely fit adult clothing. On top of that, I’ve got a very high-pitched voice that makes me sound like a toddler. Unfortunately, that means I can expect to have my age questioned on nearly a daily basis. Someone actually threatened to call the cops because the clerk was convinced I was using a fake ID to buy a lottery ticket. That’s right. Even as a twenty-something young woman, the clerk didn’t even believe I was over 18.

There’s always a lack of respect when you look much younger. Yes, it gets annoying. But it gives me the opportunity to weed out the jerks and people I don’t want to waste my time on very quickly. Let’s face it. People tend to show their true colors when they think they are dealing with a child.


Where do you live?

I recently moved further west in central jersey with my fiancé. Unfortunately, part of my heart still lives by the water in my small town, known as Sayreville. Apparently, it was a luxury to live in walking distance to a beautiful body of water, being able to jog along the river and have a great view of the city without living in a touristy area. Clearly, I’m still in the adjustment period of coping with my new life in my water-less town in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, my fiancé is helping me cope with my devastating loss.

When was the last time you handled a situation really well?

I hope this isn’t the LAST time I handled a situation well, because it happened a few years ago. But because I’m still adjusting to this major life altering decision it seems pretty relevant and recent.

So in 2007/2008 I was a broke college student like most of America. I also took constant trips back home to get my hair relaxed. But alas, when you are in college you can’t afford to get your hair done frequently. That’s why I decided to stop relaxing my hair and wear it natural. Oddly enough the rest of the African American community decided to go natural all at the same time and it became a trend. I was not happy about it being a trend. Everyone kept asking me if I went natural because everyone was doing it and because it was so trendy. I proudly said, “No, I went natural because I was broke.” Everyone found it very funny that my choice had to deal with my financial situation as opposed to “embracing my true self.” What’s interesting is that I wasn’t even sure that I liked my natural hair. After wearing it relaxed (straight) for the majority of my life, it was a major adjustment to live with my big, naturally curly afro-like hair. I thought it made me ugly. Despite feeling ugly I hung in there, kept my hair the way it was. (I sort of had no choice though since I was still broke.) Yea, so I handled that really well I think.

Now, I have my first in office contract position after working from home as a freelance writer for over a year. It would be an understatement to say I was nervous about the hair situation. In case, you didn’t know big, curly afro like hair isn’t always acceptable in professional atmospheres. Rather than pulling it back I wore it big, loud and proud on my first day. After all, the job hired me, and that hair IS me.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous though. Luckily, everyone loved my hair!

What’s one of the coolest things about you?

I live life unbuttoned. Simply put, I don’t have a belly button thanks to some traumatic events that took place during my early childhood. I didn’t realize how much not having a belly button meant to me until I noticed a belly button was photoshopped into a picture I had taken before. For some reason, it didn’t feel like me with that fake belly button pasted in there. It made me feel like a fraud.

what’s your favorite kind of cake?

Red velvet has got to be my favorite cake. Oddly, enough I hate the color red. And I honestly, don’t like or eat cake that much. But my whole world turned around when my fiancé got us red velvet cake two years ago when we celebrated our four year anniversary. It was my first red velvet cake. And it was perfect. It wasn’t too much of anything and was just the right amount of velvet. Sadly, I have yet to find a red velvet cake that tastes just as good as my very first one from that South Jersey bakery.

My second favorite kind of cake is cheesecake. I’ve become quite skilled at making it.

What’s your unroast for the day?

Today, I really like my hips. They are oddly wide considering I’m such a petite person. But I think it gives me a very unique walk and perhaps makes me just the right amount of “womanly” that I hope for. (Hopefully, I feel the same about them tomorrow!)

Thank you, Terri! I love your hair, and your confidence!

You can find Terri on her blog and her professional site, and check out her ebook here.

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This is my cake eaters series. If you have a cake pic and want to be a part of it, write to me at kate@eatthedamncake.com and I’ll ask you some questions and share your answers and it’ll be fun. 


Kate on November 9th 2012 in cake eaters, Uncategorized

10 Responses to “Terri eats cake and talks about deciding to stop relaxing her hair”

  1. meg responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Terri – your hair is gorgeous!

  2. bailey responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 11:06 am #

    great article! i love how you are so comfortable with who you are!! http://www.justsayyes.org/topics/self-image-media-influences/

  3. Melanie responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I love this post. I love that Terri admittedly went natural because of finances and grew in to it. Very cool. I myself have always loved huge, natural afros. I suppose it’s because I could never have one. You know what they say: those with straight hair want curly….

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. morgaine responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    “I live life unbuttoned.” That was my favorite bit.

    Also, Kate, the links to Terri’s blog and professional site aren’t working.

  5. Kate responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    Thanks for letting me know! I think I fixed the problem with the professional site, but the blog isn’t letting me in.

  6. Rapunzel responded on 09 Nov 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Really? You don’t like red? Red’s probably my favorite color, and I think you’d look awesome in it too. Your hair rocks!

    Have you tried the Red Velvet Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory? Might want to give it a shot sometime if you ever get the chance!

  7. sami responded on 10 Nov 2012 at 1:06 am #

    I LOVE THAT PHOTO. That look of excited anticipation with the tongue sticking out… haha! My fave cake photo yet.

    Gotta say, I also love afro hair. I am Australian and we really don’t have a very big population of African people in this country so to spot an afro is pretty novel. There’s just something so glorious about such a beautiful abundance of hair. Every time I see someone with an afro I just want to go up and tell them they look fantastic but I’d probably seem like a crazy person. I think it’s okay for me to say it here though. Terri you look fantastic :D your afro is incredible. Thanks for sharing your story!

  8. Erin Lee responded on 10 Nov 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    you hair is amazinngggg. I never knew about this culture behind relaxing or dying hair by African Americans until a class I took. I was so confused about it, I had no idea it was this -big- thing… i was almost bewildered because we do everything under the sun to our hair – if it’s curly we want it straight, if it’s straight we curl it, and nvm about colors. oh goodness. Well I think the au naturale look is awesome, Big, but Stylish hair is so the way to go and be true to yourself.
    i haven’t cut my hair in two years because i don’t have the money for it. on the upside, i’m about an inch and a half away from it being long enough to donate!

  9. Liz responded on 11 Nov 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Yay! go Terri! I have long wavyish looseish curls and only recently have I stopped straightening it with irons (for the same reason….mine broke and I cant afford new ones….) scary at first, I agree! your hair looks fab :)

  10. Carrie responded on 30 Apr 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Your hair is beautiful! I love the cake, too! Aloha! Don’t worry about the youngishness of your look, that’s just the way you are. I guess you could go grandma style if you really wanted to, but I would say enjoy the look! You can get all those cute juniors outfits! Plus, when you get older you will probably be liking how much younger you look a whole lot more! And being able to identify the jerks sooner, a big plus, too. Less of your time wasted! I quit cutting my hair because I didn’t need the expense, so I hear you there. And ages ago I quit perms then highlights because of the cost. Costs a lot of time, too, so even now if I get the money not sure I’d want to do it all again. Glad you found a beautiful natural look that is so you and easy too!