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Monday, June 30, 2014

My Black is Beautiful: Happy I'm Nappy!

Just a few of the ways I've worn my natural hair over the past few years



Today there are so many black women rocking natural hair, free of chemicals with all different textures from flowing loose curls to tight tendrils with no curl pattern at all. If you do a search on Google you can find numerous YouTube tutorials and blogs that highlight the beauty of natural hair. It has even reached the point where our hair has been “typed” with product suggestions and styles specifically for the “type” of hair you have. I’ve been invited to be a member of groups on Facebook and I even saw a “sorority” for nappy sisters.  And just yesterday, one of my fair skinned (aka white) brothers told me he loved my natural hair and that it is on trend for today! On Friday, NBC news anchor Tamron Hall was lauded all over the internet for wearing her natural hair on air.  I am so very happy that black women wearing their hair in its natural state is becoming more acceptable by us and others. However, this certainly was not always the case.


I have proudly rocked natural hair since 1989. Yes, it has been a long 25 years and when I first cut off my relaxed locs the reception was not that positive. I had a short natural afro that was not of the wet and go nature. I was asked questions that ranged from “are you a lesbian?” to “are you from the Caribbean?” because there was NO way a young straight woman from the United States would chose not to convert her natural tresses into relaxed straight hair.


As much as the questions and strange looks sometimes annoyed me, I remained determined to embrace my natural beauty. Even when about 5 years into my journey I decided to wear my hair out (prior to this time I wore braided extensions) a young man at my job said to me “You are too pretty to be nappy headed, do something with your hair!” As shocked and appalled as I was about his lack of appreciation for my self-acceptance, I did not let it phase me.


Since I first cut out off my relaxed hair, I’ve worn my hair in an afro, braided extensions, kinky weaves, and for the longest time I wore locs which intrigued many people too. But regardless of the reaction from others, I’ve proudly worn my natural hair any way I’ve chosen to without regard for others opinion. I love myself and know I am beautiful regardless of how I chose to wear my hair.


And being a natural beauty makes me tremendously excited to have been chosen as a My Black is Beautiful Social Media Correspondent with the Niche Parent Network for the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this week. My Black is Beautiful celebrates the diverse collective beauty of African-American women and encourages black women to define and promote our own beauty standard.


At Essence, MBIB will be celebrating the Road to Essence “Beauty in Action” challenge held in partnership with transformational expert, Lisa Nichols. MBIB and Lisa Nichols encourage women to show their “beauty in action” by sharing what encourages them to believe that beauty is more than skin deep.


I invite you to follow my journey to Essence by watching twitter for the #BIAJourney. And join the conversation on the My Black is Beautiful website and facebook page.  You can also join me for a fun Twitter Party with the Niche Parent Network & Conference community for a #BIAJourney Twitter Party on July 2nd, 8:00-9:30 PM. We’ll be chatting about what it means to define your own definition of beauty and giving away prizes. RSVP at  http://ow.ly/yAaRv to be eligble for prizes.


Joining us? Click to Tweet: “It’s a @MBIB #EssenceFest Twitter Party! Join me w/ @NicheParent Wed 7/2 8-9:30pm ET Prizes! http://ow.ly/yAaRv #BIAJourney”

Disclosure: I am a Niche Parent Network & Conference influencer and received compensation for this post and to attend Essence Festival as a My Black is Beautiful Social Media Correspondent. All opinions are my own.


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