So y’all know I wear many hats, to include mommy, wife, daughter, sister, bestie, best-selling and NAACP Image Award Nominated author #TootToot, habitual oversharer, natural hair advocate, diva, psychotherapist and lover of ham. But it’s the mommy, psychotherapist and #TeamNatural hats I was wearing when Dove Hair reached out to share the #LoveYourCurls campaign that they had recently launched. Their team was armed with stats like-
- Only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful
- 41% of little curly girls would change their natural hair forever if they could
- Little curly girls are 9 times more likely than their peers to think that changing their hair would help them make more friends
- Curly haired girls are 7 times more likely to dislike their curly hair if their mother dislikes her own curls
- 84% of girls whose mother’s like their own hair, say they like their hair as well
Now you know, this is what we do all day every day, so I was already in my choir robe when they started preaching.
I didn’t need to see their fancy reports. I know it, I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. I hated my natural hair and now I’ve learned to love it. I’ve come full circle. And now I’m trying to make sure that my little sponge, aka Boogie, loves her natural self too. Speaking of Gia, I can’t do or say anything that she won’t be walking around repeating not even 5 minutes later. And unfortunately I’m very aware that she’s picking up on the things I’m not saying, the things I don’t want her to know about… my insecurities, my sensitivities. Case in point, remember that time when, at the pentacle of that recent Disney phenomenon, Gia looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, I want princess hair‘. And LAWD if I didn’t immediately go into your-hair-is-actually-way-doper-it’s-the-ultimate-princess-hair #FixIt mode… But homegirl was simply requesting one french braid, not two, and that, I can do. #StillDidntGetHerThatHalloweenCostumeTho
That was clearly me jumping to the worst possible conclusion, assuming that my pretty little brown baby, in all her highly textured glory, wanted long, blonde, straight hair. So, I dialed it back a bit. Although, I still haven’t given up on my conviction to never buy her a baby doll without brown skin or textured hair. 🙂 Furthermore, I still do my best to remind her on a daily basis (every night while moisturizing and braiding her hair) how beautiful her curls and coils are, but I do my best not to let my own past issues seep in. It still makes my heart melt every time I see her look in the mirror at her unfurled curls and she proclaims, ‘I look like CurlyNikki!’, or when I drop her off at school and see all the little girls who five years ago who may have been rocking extensions and chemically relaxed pony tails, now shining in natural hair glory with puffs and curly fros galore. This brave new world… this re-branding of the beauty standard… it’s all us, ladies. The strength of our community… the education, inspiration, the tears, the laughs that we share on this platform. We are the reason the next generation will have at least one less physical feature to be stressed about. It’s also important to note that through this social media consumer model that we’ve pioneered, brands are learning not just about what products or ingredients we prefer, but also about the values people in the community hold. Dove’s initiative is evidence to that effect.
At any rate, I hope you’ll join me in supporting the #LoveYourCurls initiative and lead by example for the curly girls in your life! Participate by visiting Dove.com, viewing/sharing the #LoveYourCurls video, sharing your story via dove.com/LoveYourCurls and/or showing you #LoveYourCurls on Twitter and Facebook.