Your Moral Code of Dreadlocks
On the interwebs I've run into a fair number of "holier-than-thou" dreaded folk. Those that I run into are almost always trying to convince me that their neglected dreads are "superior" to my maintained dreads. There's little they can say but I've heard: "They are too uniform" "They are too perfect". --- I don't mind that because I recognize their motivation is insecurity. It's easy to forgive someone that is insecure. --- But let me tell you where I believe a real problem lies. I've given this some thought and this is what I've come to:
"They are welcome to express their opinions and while you might not agree, they have a right to their opinions just as you have a right to yours. If their opinion gets no reaction, next they may judge your dreads by their standard of neglect. They have the right to do this as well, but they should realize that you also have a standard and you have the same right to judge their dreads.
The trap is accepting their standard and code as your own. By their standard my dreads are "not real" because I have assisted their development. (I say, "prove it" =) By my standard their dreads are loose and fuzzy. Different strokes for different folks, no biggie.
But if I begin to accept their "moral code of dreads" which says that by assisting my dreads they are no longer "natural" and loose their value...then I'm caught. I can't help my dreads and improve the way they look because they may "cease to be real", but at the same time I'm not satisfied with their appearance because I'm not able to help them develop in the image that I desire. There are people caught in this very trap. They work on their dreads "in the closet" - wanting to make them look better, but they're ashamed of their accomplishment because they've partially accepted the code of neglect, the code of the lock blockers, and they're secretly worried that someone will say their dreads are not "real" or "natural". Many of them used products to start their dreads and then loudly insist that they didn't - or that they stopped early (which, when you get the details it generaly comes out that they used wax for 2-3 months and stopped as the dreads started to lock up - which is what the instructions say....but since they didn't read them they thought they were stopping early). Why do you suppose they feel the need to tell us they stopped using a product early? They are ashamed because they have bought into the Lock Blocker code of neglect - and this is their admission of the guilt they now carry.
You are welcome to grow your dreadlocks by any code you wish - but know what it is - and don't allow anyone to force their code (and the causeless guilt and uncertainly that may ride along with it) on you and your dreads.
My code is simple. My dreads have one purpose, that is my own happiness. That is the only standard by which they are judged. If it makes me happy to keep them smooth and purdy, I will. If I want to let the roots grow out, or create a massive congo, I will. I place no limits on my dreads of any kind. My dreads are my most personal possession on this earth - I love them for their value to me. I love that they are a personal work of art that I had a hand in - my expression - not just something that occurred by chance. They look exactly has I had dreamed they would when I started them, and that is why they bring me so much joy. The joy I derive comes directly from the achievement of my ideal dreads - and I don't need anyone's approval that my dreads are beautiful or real. That's my code, and for me, dreads don't get any more real that."