When I was living in South Africa, I had a conversation with a beautiful girl who so happened to have an afro. She told me how she loooooved my hair and how she never really shows her afro to work ‘as it was not professional / formal’. I was a bit shocked and also offended. Greatly because of this ever existing thought pattern, even within a continent where the afro is originated from. And partly because it seemed like she kinda agreed with it . It makes me sad and angry, really. I personally don’t understand why to some an afro is seen as an ‘informal’ thing, while to me it is one of the most beautifull , unique and vibrant hairstyles one can have. I believe the first step in breaking this thought pattern is embracing your natural beauty and never abide to what others think.
Trust me, I speak out of experience.
When I was a little girl, I had absolutely NO clue what to do with my hair. I was afraid to wear it down & basically had my hair in the same bun every single day. Just because I thought my afro hair was too ‘weird’, too ‘different’. I'm sure that if I would have seen it more in the media my viewpoint would have changed and I would've felt more comfortable.
Nowadays there is a whole new natural hair movement going on. Which I absolutely applaud! But back in the days, I didn’t see a lot of natural afro hair models/ or entertainers etc in the media. Especially if you’re a teen this fact doesn’t make you feel more confident as you start to wonder whether your look is even considered beautiful. It can make you very insecure..
One of the reasons for my modeling work is that I want to encourage diversity in the media. Stretch out the definition of the word BEAUTY. It's so funny how , when I was younger ,I was so shy and insecure about my hair and how it now has become one of my biggest assest.
It’s so important for everyone to feel acknowledged. You don’t necessarily need long blond hair to be beautiful. You don’t need to be a model to be beautiful. Actually, you don’t need anyone else to tell you that you’re beautiful. Beauty resides within.