I'm all for self-acceptance and being confident in the YOU that YOU choose to be but lately I've felt some need to discuss how our young daughters and little cousins feel about the way they look. When I big chopped and began to sport my natural curls, I was extremely self-conscious. I didn't understand why it didn't look like these hair models I'd seen everywhere and how the HECK did they get their twist out to look SO PERFECT.
That being said, I couldn't imagine how young African-American girls must feel when having such beautifully thick hair while their peers are blonde, straight and shagged.
I had a hard time accepting myself when I was younger. I heard all sorts of nose jokes, bottom lip cracks and craziness about me being short, then wasn't nearly as bad as how children are being treated now.
Contrary to popular belief from my close friends and co-workers, I really do love children! (The sitting, not yelling, well-mannered kind, unrealistic, I know.) I love the spirit of being a child and being unaware and loving the simple things in life. Just knowing that there are little people out there with little pride and little hurt feelings that can't feel beautiful because television says they cannot or that it's not okay to be slightly overweight or have huge, thick hair, or have chocolaty beautiful skin. This also plays into one of my previous posts with gorgeous barbies that had dreads and afros and large lips and tangled roots.
Growing up, my babies and barbies looked exactly like ME. My mother made it clear that my role models will be positive African-American women and that I won't be forced to think that I have to be pale or a brunette to be intelligent.
As a people. we have to do better when promoting self-acceptance to our little girls. If we don't, they're subject to all sorts of confusion and depression that could have been nipped in the bud from the beginning!
Teach your child to love themselves.
Also, a great website for some self love books and much much more is http://afropuffsandponytails.com!
There are plenty of books out there to promote confidence and self-assurance!
I found this link on tumblr of a charachter from Seasame Street that was created for the adopted Ethiopian daughter of the Seasame Street writer who was struggling with accepting her hair and said she wanted to go to the salon and dye it blonde.
Train em up!
"Train children to live the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray from it."