As an advocate for natural hair, who takes pictures to promote natural hairstyling, I became an early fan of America’s Next Top Model. Not only was the show fun to watch, the shoots, the feedback and especially Tyra’s tips were always incredibly useful.
Then I happened to see the Tyra show where she interviewed Alek Wek about her book, Sudan and modeling. They also spoke about the fact that Black models were nearly gone from the catwalk. It didn’t sit right with me either that Black models were “out”.
The next day while browsing nappturality.com, a most inspiring board for natural women, owned and managed by Patricia Gaines, the idea to start Miss Nappturality was born; a pageant in search of America’s Next Natural Model to promote Black models and natural hair at the same time.
So within a minute I started to redesign going-natual.com and did a roll call for models. The response was great and inspiring. After chosing 10 models I shipped 10 boxes full of goodies to the selected models. It was quite a challenge with my own limited budget but that’s how I got the the first ever online natural hair pageant started in 2008. The competition has only grown better since then.
One only has to look at the photos of the winners over the years as evidence that the sleepless nights and tireless hours behind my laptop paid off. It is my dream that one day one of the winners will grace the catwalk of a high fashion designer or the cover of a beauty magazine, adding another dimension of diversity to the world of beauty.