Love My Curls
Natural curls, natural hair – short or long – is beautiful on any person. There is a long history of influential people telling others what they can and cannot do with their hair. People of color have been made to feel like they do not fit the beauty standards, gender standards, or even professional standards if they choose to wear their natural hairstyles or embrace their natural curls. But curls are bouncy and beautiful! They deserve their chance in the spotlight. They deserve to be loved and embraced in all spaces.
The Curl Movement
Kids, girls or boys, and adults, men or women, anyone, deserves to love their hair as it was given to them. #FreeTheCurls is a movement and our very own Chicagoan, a news anchor from ABC News, Janai Norman, coined the hashtag. Norman was interviewed by Good Morning America back in 2019 about her choice to embrace her curls and wear her natural hair on TV, in a “professional setting” where she was conditioned to subject herself to beauty standards that did not serve her (Good Morning America, 2019)
The article about her movement is a beautiful testament to challenging standards and embracing our authentic selves. In our world today, we see so many people embracing their long hair, short hair, straight hair, no hair, and unique curl patterns. No matter who you are, you deserve to love yourself in all aspects that make you, you. Children, specifically boys and girls of color are bullied and ridiculed about their natural hair and hairstyles, whether it was a choice or not (e.g. boys wearing their hair long, embracing curls, braids, color, etc.).
Just like our clothes, makeup, interests, and hobbies express who we are as people, our hair can be a significant and beautiful expression of who we are as people. Hair is connected to history, culture, family, and identity. Hair is our accessory, a medium of self-expression. With our hair, we can express our creativity, our beauty, and our identity. When we consider our hair as one of most important accessories, we can use it in a way that helps us feel good, not only on the outside, but within us.
No one should be shamed or feel the need to subject themselves to unattainable and oppressive beauty standards. We have an opportunity to embrace beauty that serves us and allows us to express ourselves and live authentically. Curly hair, any kind of hair, is our tool to self-acceptance. Accepting ourselves and our characteristics that make us unique lead to feeling confident in our identities, who we are in this world, and who we are within ourselves.
If you, your child, or a friend, is struggling with self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love, explore different resources. Some resources to consider: social media or books that help develop skills that encourage open dialogue; reading about or listening to other’s journeys; or if you have access to mental health services, finding a therapist who can support you in starting this journey yourself, may be impactful.
Below are a few resources for parents and kiddos struggling to embrace their curls. This is a healing journey toward acceptance and self-love. It may take time and effort to feel comfortable and free, it may even be challenging, but one step at a time, one day at a time, together we will heal, love, and be free.
In support of Janai Norman #FreeTheCurls!
Books and Resources:
For more book options, check out the blog post by NaturallyCurly.com