This year I had the amazing opportunity to attend Curly Girl Collective's Curl Festival in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. To say the #blackgirlmagic these humans were serving was perfect is an understatement. I found that as a woman of color, it was so beautiful to look around and see so many of us embracing our natural selves. Whether that was through hair or just a celebration of our melanin, it was beautiful.
I was able to chat with some old friends and new. One of the things I was most curious about was everyone's favorite part about Curl Fest. The answers I received were literally all the same. The joy of having a community that embraces natural beauty. Personally, since I was a child I was told big hair was ugly. When I was about 9 I got my first relaxer at a Dominican Salon. Had GINORMOUS curly hair. I was always sitting in the back of the class because no one could see beyond my mane. So I grew up to believe that once a month I literally had to burn my hair with strong chemicals. I did this up until the age of 20. After 20 I didn't relax my hair anymore but I would still straighten it. After speaking to so many of these beautiful women and men, I found that they were taught the exact same thing.
I'm currently on a tour with my girls @Allthingsada & @Risasrizos titled "Rizos on the Road," and one of the things I've found most fulfilling is being able to bring this conversation to different tables all over the country. Speaking about what it means to be "Afro-Latina," and how much importance there is in wearing your hair natural. Being on this tour is what made me decide to go natural. Meeting so many people who were taught the aforementioned, but have decided to embrace their natural beauty and go natural instead. It truly has been so inspiring and fun to watch.
It was so great to hear all of your stories, and meet all of you. We would LOVE to hear more about what going natural has meant for you as we know it's so much more than just not heat damaging your hair. If you'd like to share your story please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, enjoy the gallery below.
For the full gallery, visit this site: Curl Fest Gallery, and be sure to tag @thugnanny_ on instagram.