Growing up I wanted long, straight hair that gently played on my back when the breeze touched it. My mom refused to let me straighten my curly mane. I would sneak and have by friend Niqua press my hair with a hot comb. If you don't know what that is, it's a comb made of metal that you put on a gas burning stove to heat up. You allow it to cool a bit and then you proceed to burn the shit out of your hair just so that it can be straight. I know. F@$king crazy! I did that because the idea of leaving my hair as is was something I did not see around me. I saw women pressing, perming, blowout styling their hair to look other than what it was naturally meant to be. This is certainly not a bash on those who straighten their hair. I assure you, if i want to mix it up a bit I'll blow out my hair because I'm a grown woman and I can do what I want ;) Ok, I digress. When we press, straighten or do anything different to alter ourselves, I want it to be built on a road where we are defining our own beauty.
The thought that black, natural, curly, kinky, unprocessed, left to do what it does best, froed out hair was not reflected to me as beautiful. It's changing. We are seeing a diverse mix of women stepping forward and demanding to be reflected in the images blasted towards us. Why? Because WE EXIST to be seen and heard. So much is happening with how we as women see ourselves. WE are digging deeper towards the AS IS part of ourselves that others thought strange or not enough and allowing it to be seen, fully. It's a real conversation that has to be echoed in a time where filters and editing skews so much of we see as beautiful. What I see now in myself took years of adjusting, filtering and being around women who know how to love themselves. These REAL reflections are what our little girls will witness, giving then the opportunity to SEE that their beauty is right there, as they are, right now. Strange, complicated, knappy hair, unruly, smart, loud, bossy, quiet, driven, defiant, necessary, vulnerable...beautiful AS IS.