By: Chantia Singleton
Growing up, I hated my hair. For me, being mixed wasn’t something that I was proud of. I was the only “mixed person” in my family and was the only one with big bushy hair. To add insult to injury, often big bushy hair comes with a unibrow and a mini mustache. So I was essentially the “cave girl” of middle & high school.
Kids in middle school can be mean and family wasn’t the kindest either so, I grew up walking with my head down, lacking confidence, hating my hair and anticipating the day that I could get a perm and have arched eyebrows and “be beautiful.”
There were no examples of “natural girls” on TV, in books or anywhere for that matter. Thus, these insecurities followed me until I was well into my 20’s. The natural movement had just picked up for adult women with curls and coils and I was intrigued. I hopped on board and never touched a perm again.
All together it took me about 20 years to feel beautiful with my hair curly. No-one should ever have to wait that long to feel beautiful with the attributes and characteristics that they was born with. I vowed to plant seeds for small girls and children so they knew from the beginning, that they are a force to be reckoned with no matter their hair, skin color, size, etc.. There were so many examples for me as a young woman but what about our girls?
I was inspired to help fill such a huge gap in representation in children’s literature. As a result, I wrote and published “The Little Girl With the Big Hair” series. In one year, it has sold over 5,000 copies. I am so moved when little girls say things like, “she looks like me!” “She has hair like mine.” “If she likes her hair, I like mine too.” Targeting adult women is perfectly fine but in my opinion, that is not where the insecurities start. By adulthood, we have fed and fueled our insecurities for far too long. We need to be planting seeds of self love and self acceptance from the beginning.