Her name is Mayah and she’s my 1 year-old beauty, adorned in the most amazing Afro, yes it’s that big I had to write afro with a capital A.
Before I gave birth to Mayah, the one prayer I had was that I would always be an inspiration to her and be able to teach her to accept her unique beauty in a world that still has a mass of questionable amounts of stereotypes. As mums, sisters, cousins, girlfriends and most importantly as Queens, the change starts with us. We need to be inspired by our natural young Queens for us to truly be an authentic source of inspiration.
When I look at Mayah, I see a young Queen, who thinks she is a total girl boss, who because she has not had anyone tell her she’s not worthy, she’s not beautiful or she can’t do it, she knows and sees no limits and just naturally accepts the way she is.
Let me take you back to one Saturday morning when I got back from spin class. Her dad has taken her hair, parted it into 4 sections for me and as I ran my hands through her fro, ready to wash and care for her hair.
It was then that I had that ‘moment’. The moment I ran my hands through my now wet from sweat, chemically treated hair and felt a mix of hair textures and wondered when I would next lovingly (NOT) drench my hair and scalp in the harsh alkaline chemicals in relaxer, just to stop my hair from being everything it is meant to be.
As someone who works in the Beauty Industry this conscious awakening is not just restricted to embracing your hair. Thankfully, the relentless chasing of perfection in beauty is slowing, with women finding inspiration in not only their daughters but in themselves as well as other women.
If I want Mayah to own her beauty in a way that she never ever tries to fit a mould. I have to show her that beauty is about self-expression not self enhancement. What’s the difference? Self-expression is an act that begins with you and is fuelled by your passion to celebrate your differentness and invite the world to celebrate it with you.
Self-enhancement is changing yourself to fit the perceptions and beauty standards held by the world.
I write this one month post Big Chop, knowing I’m not perfect but wholly learning to accept that I am truly one of a kind. The beauty of it all is knowing that it’s a life long journey. Just like we all know, that as black women we are constantly on a never ending search for the products that bring out the best in our hair, I believe that search becomes so much easier when we stop searching for products that will change our natural crowns. So, when people often ask me why I set a whole Saturday aside to do Mayah’s hair. I simply tell them I do it for the future health of her Hair and her Heart.