So you have finally made it. After 5 years of getting the big chop, releasing you from your damaged ends your curls are now popping. Free of silicones, parabens and sulphates you got all the curly girl friendly products. Your curl knowledge is nailed down. Everywhere you go, everyone you meet you get compliments of how nice your hair looks. You’re finally at a stage of self love for your curls, something you never had growing up. Now you wouldn’t even think of straightening your hair again!
It’s safe to say this is the usual path of a curly girl who grew up hating her own hair. But when did the compliments from everyone you meet start to feed into something less to do with self love? When did your hair start to become your calling card, the only thing you like about yourself? When did it become the only thing that makes you feel pretty? When did your identity become ‘the girl with the curly hair’?
This is something I have been wondering about for about a year now. Slowly gaining more introspection on the topic. But it wasn’t till Nia (Nia the Light, formally frogirlginny) did the big chop. Her big decision made me realise this is an actual thing and probably more curlies were beginning to think the same! Maybe not going out and getting all their hair cut off, but you understand me. Ginny was the poster girl girl for girls with curly hair. Starting out in the curl community, hosting worldwide brunches with Lauren Lewis, creating Froday. Nia was at the forefront of the movement, so much so she went beyond it into mainstream influencer territory. She was doing campaigns that were more than just hair. You can read about her decision more HERE.
I have followed Nia’s journey, the whole of 2017 and this big chop was something I suspected as she has shown a desire to evolve beyond her hair and become more herself. I really respect this big move she has done. You could argue she has lost a big part of her audience, which is a brave move considering it’s the audience that got her to where she is. But while doing so she has become a game changer in the midst of social media influencers who constantly are showing opposite moves. Getting boob jobs, lip fillers or nose injections all with the excuse that they have always felt unhappy with whatever body part did not conform to societies standard of beauty. Whatever makes them happy they should do it and it’s their bodies right?
Changing your body to achieve self love is not something I am denouncing but in a digital age where it is easily accessible to now get these procedures, Nia has made a power move that has inspired differently. For me she has promoted self love more than any other blogger or influencer I have ever seen. She’s stripped away an exterior layer to show what’s beneath and accepted her flaws. She’s become an authentic self. It is important to teach young girls to love themselves. Which is what a lot of the curl community is about, myself including. But it’s more important to show young girls to love their authentic their whole self. Showing kids that their hair is beautiful is great and should never stop, it comes from a desire to right a wrong we all had growing up. However, there seems to be a dangerous pit-fall some of us can fall into. Our identity can become so wrapped up in our exterior appearance, in this case our curls. We then forget to love the rest of ourselves. Our noses, lips, eyes, stretch marks, bum, tummy, whole body! And most importantly our inner selves. It’s easy to let big bouncy curls hide all of that.
Personally I feel very vulnerable with my hair tied up in public, around people who know me. They define me by my hair, so it has led me to do the same. I get comments that I look unrecognisable when it’s tied up or straightened, highlighting how much people see my curls before they even see me. It’s kinda sad but it is what it is. Nia has inspired me and I hope a lot of others. It’s time to love our inner and authentic selves, using our social media influence to show young women especially that you can be successful and not get that lip filler, nose injection or boob job. There is nothing wrong with people who do but I think that the ultimate success is loving yourself.
What are your thoughts? Would you cut all your healthy curls off?
Disclaimer: All opinions and ideas are my own.