on sincerity

It's so hard to be sincere sometimes — or at least to come across that way.

We twentysomethings seem to define ourselves and the things we like in roundabout ways:

"I just like that ironically."

"It's so bad it's good."

"So over it."

Or, as some friends of mine recently said about a YouTube video:

"It's so unfunny that it's so funny but it's actually not funny at all
"I laughed out loud a lot, basically"

"You just described everything our generation finds amusement in."

So as you might imagine, I found myself at a loss for words when I watched a short documentary about black women embracing their natural hair that really resonated with me — unironically, sans giggles.

I saw the video when my friend Wayne posted it on Facebook, so I clicked "Share" but then spent the longest time trying to figure out what — if anything — to say alongside the link.

If I left the text box blank, would people assume I was making light of an experience and an ethnicity that's clearly not my own?

Would they think I liked this look at natural hair in the same way I enjoyed that "I Love My Hair"/"Whip My Hair" mashup? That was more about the sum than the parts.

Would it seem as if I was giggling like I did over that one bitch-with-weave moment on Cheaters? That ain't even... correct.

But was there a way to convey that I took sincere delight in these women's decision to embrace the natural beauty they had been suppressing, and it resonated with me as a white man with naturally straight hair because, really, it was about more than just hair?

Eventually, I whittled all that down to this Facebook-sized comment: "Self-acceptance is beautiful."

Based on my friends' responses, it seems I struck the right tone, but it really shouldn't have been so hard to do so.

Since this peculiar bit of writer's block, I've been thinking about how many of the things I say aloud and especially that I send via text message are literally untrue but instead carry a sarcastic meaning. That underlying message is almost always understood on both ends but troubling nonetheless.

It seems that relying on so much snark makes it harder to convey what I mean without it. Well, I see now that I mustn't let my gayforward communication skills get rusty.