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My Decision To Big Chop Changed The Game For My Love Life

In cutting off my hair, I observed how my TWA would stop attracting one type of man and draw in another.

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Tall, like at least six feet. Attractive. Doesn't have to be college educated but he's got to be ambitious...and intelligent. Not too clingy, but present. Meh, I don't do locs. No locs. In fact, no hair. Just a clean fade.

That is just a glimpse of the checklist I keep in my mind when keeping my eyes peeled for potential. I'm willing to admit that I'm shallow, but I have also made it a point to remind myself that I wouldn't put a pin in that very potential I had been on the lookout for if someone came along and he wasn't a concoction of my imagination and past baggage. Basically, I've always said I'm not shallow enough to ignore and resist chemistry simply because I'm not immediately attracted to a person's outward appearance.

However, it's only recently that I've been forced to be a woman of my word and date outside the comfort zone of my list. I believe it has everything to do with me taking on round two of the big chop with all of the confidence I didn't know the first time I big chopped. To break down the equation, it seems to be two parts confidence, one part big chop, and I'm convinced that it will have a significant impact on the way I view dating, men, and the laws of attraction.

In cutting off my hair, I observed how my TWA would stop attracting one type of man and draw in another.

It stopped attracting my type and I started attracting a greater level of authenticity. After chopping my hair, while I was more confident and more fashionable (something I now felt I had to be so that I was not to be mistaken for a prepubescent boy) than I ever imagined, I would be back in my "Apple Bottom" phase and I was also forced to have a slice of humble pie. Who was I to write someone off for their hair? At the very least I knew I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't tighten up with all of these physical characteristics I deemed "my type".

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My big chop has forced me to hone in on the agape love that I was putting out into the rest of the world.

Agape love, a Greco-Christian term and something that I only recently learned about, is a selfless sacrificial type of love. It's one of four types of love in the Bible that we observe in the world; the others include Eros, Philia, and Storge (in no particular order). Most people, myself included, act out of eros or erotic love upon first meeting someone. Eros love is the superficial stuff, eros demands a physical attraction. Acting on eros love first is a desire to want the full package before penetrating the surface. However, it's agape love that will help you look past the superficial qualities a person has to offer and see their truth alongside your truth.

This is what I've come to understand about myself! There's levels to this and this whole time I've been trying to level up without doing the work in between, and doing it backwards at that. Sexually driven, I've always wanted to be attracted to you outwardly before I acted on anything else, and if the sex was good then for me, that led to romance but it almost always led me to lackluster, half-ass romance.

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There's an exception to all of this, of course, but we can't all be that. We can't all be the couple who married after 30 days and stayed together for a lifetime. We can't all be the couple who started out just f*cking and then ended up in love. We can't all be the love that the media portrays, and that's what we want when we seek out these superficial qualities.

The reality is that leading with eros will almost always fail you when you're hoping to build with something authentic.

Ultimately, you attract what you are and sometimes you attract what you lack. You attract what you put into the world, you attract what you're ready for, and if you can't embrace a new face in the most wholesome way of love, then the truth is you (and I'm speaking to myself here) have more room for growth.

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Well, the TWA is making me grow. The hair has made me love myself in an agape way that I don't think was present before. I loved myself with the condition, I loved myself in an eros way that I knew made me appealing and attractive to a majority but I don't want the majority filling my cup.

As I break down the walls of my love and its superficial standards, I can't lose because I will have evolved and so I will have attracted someone who meets me right there where I'm at. Evolved. And when that's not what it is, I'll know and I won't settle because I'll know there are more many more fish in the sea when you dive deeper than the superficial waters I've been living in.

Featured image by Getty Images.

Originally published on March 14, 2019

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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