When we as women consider going natural, we often feel that we won’t be able to compete with the sleek, ‘it girl’ look. We believe that natural hair makes us ‘unpretty.’ I believe that one of the main reasons we don’t see natural hair as lovely and beautiful is because the media doesn’t portray it that way. However, I think that it’s incredibly important for us to remember that beauty is indeed an abstract quality. Beauty to one person is different to another. For me this competition—and this shoot especially—is an opportunity for me to show the world how beautiful natural hair really is. I absolutely loved this shoot. I feel that I accomplished my goal of illustrating how versatile natural hair really is.
The shoots are always fun because my photographer (Frank Coco) and stylists (Selma Alamin and Jazmine McKinney) are friends of mine. However, unlike the first shoot, I wasn’t that nervous. I was SUPER nervous during the first shoot. I really didn’t know what to expect so I focused on content (making sure I had 5 different styles) and didn’t experiment too much with the photos. Also, I was short on time because I tutor high school students for Enlighten Through Travel (my non-profit) every other Saturday and Saturday was the only day my photographer was available. Fortunately, I got a much earlier start for this shoot.
I am a huge fan of beach weddings. So when I read that this challenge was about bridal styles, I made plans to drive down to the Mississippi coast to take photos. Fortunately, the weather was agreeable. I incorporated nine different looks into this week’s challenge because I want people to know that there is SO much you can do with natural hair and that you can take a ‘root’ style (in this case, side corn rows with the middle twisted) and transform it into a wide array of looks.
I don’t think that we should conform to the media’s or society’s beauty definition, it’s very limited and narrow-minded. I believe that we should defy these definitions and create a beauty of our own. To me beauty means being healthy and comfortable in one’s own skin—not molding oneself into a Barbie doll. Natural hair is a healthy choice and natural hair is beautiful.