If you frequent the CN.com forum, then you’ve probably had the pleasure of chatting with the lovely and genuinely nice Sweetdrk1! Check out her story:

Hello CurlyNikki, first thank you so much for creating a place that I can call home. I have met (virtually) people that will always be a part of my life and for that I thank YOU!

My name is Gaye which means happy. Was I always happy being ME? uhm no! thus the handle sweetdrk1. My user name Sweet=means what it says. Drk=dark in tone and nature if pushed and 1, well there is only me. I was born in 1966 the year of the Watts Riots; a time when our people were fighting for individuality; a time when white was right and black had to stay back! I was the darkest person in my family called everything you could think of, darky, tar baby, purple etc. The funny part NOW is I am not that dark. LOL! One moment that I look back on now is after my Saturday morning press and curl session. I always had nice hair and mother kept it tight. I would go outside ponytails swinging and there was a man that would say “there she is, you are the prettiest, blackest, thing I ever did see”. Now remember it was early 70’s when being called black was an insult; but I would smile because I was raised right and cry on the inside. I thought he was the meanest man ever! Fast forward some 30 years later, my daughter was little and walking in front of me. This old man looks at her and say “you look like this little girl from the projects, she was so pretty and didn’t know it”. I started crying and that is when he noticed ME. I said “you never said I was pretty YOU said I was BLACK”

I share that story because we hear what society says we should hear and do what they say the Jones’s do. Has anyone met the Jones’? So I got a perm because that is what everyone else was doing and I needed to cover up the black, sad but true. My hair was always done ALWAYS because in my eyes I was not good enough. Since then I have gone through a series of hair styles…from short and cropped to shoulder length bob. See pics below. I will note here that even then my curls were trying to surface. When I would get a roller set it would last forever. Sasha (my hair) was fighting for the attention she deserved. My stylist of 20+ years said to me every 6-8 weeks.

Her: “You don’t need a perm!!”
Me “whatever!” give me my touch up!”
Her: “your hair is curly, it’s not nappy”
Me: “give me a touch up!”

LOL, if only I was strong enough to love ME enough to understand that I didn’t need to hide behind anything hair included. Fast forward to 2009, you know the saying all things unfold as they should? Well that is what happened, all things were in place. Every time I went to get a touch up my stylist was out sick. I would do what is known in the Curly Community as flat twist/twist out. When someone would compliment I would say “I need a touch up” and they would look at me like I was crazy!! This went on for two or 3 months and I was like you know what..it’s time for the world to see me as I am, in my natural state. So I did what makes the average woman gasp, I HAD MY HAIR CUT OFF! That day, August 22, 2009, it was like I could lace for me to raise Sasha. She is 8 months old and doing just fine. We (she and I) owe that to you for creating a learning environment, a safe environment, a loving supportive environment. I have no regrets, I love every tiny spiral on my head. I love being natural!

The first pic is of the days I was living a LYE
The rest are of Sasha in all her glory