I have been natural all my life and always shocked when people ask "how long have you been natural?" As if I must have relaxed my hair at some point in my life - I haven't. When I saw the casting it spoke very clearly to me because for once it was a casting that was simply asking me to come entirely as myself without any pressures of conformity, and so I had to apply.
I've had an ongoing struggle with alopecia the past few years which has made me value my hair so much more than I previously did. My locs are now the beautiful result of me leaving my hair completely natural and free to grow without much manipulation.
As an educator, I am surrounded by young black girls who are still fighting insecurities and social pressures of having to look a particular way; who are often embarrassed of their hair in its natural state without weaves or extensions. I make a point of allowing my hair to be visible to normalise representation of the diversity of black women and our hair. I can look smart, fierce, bold - naturally. I want them to know that they are enough.
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