Being a mom changes the way you see things, but I never thought it would make me reexamine my relationship with my curls. Last year I realized how my own habit of straightening my hair for special occasions such as weddings or TV appearances affected the way my daughter perceived her natural curls and waves. I wasn’t the only one and even was on national morning TV when they featured my story with my little girl.
Like many curly gals, I’ve had conflicting feeling about my hair. In school my curls made me stand out at a time I wished to blend in. On a good day I was called Goldilocks, but most days I was just teased mercilessly about my lion’s mane. Once I was in college there were other curly-haired women, but of course we were always in the minority. I was told my curls were sexy, which was good for dating but terrible if I wanted to be perceived as a credible journalist. So I got very creative at finding ways to tame or hide my curls once I landed my dream job as a TV news reporter. Later, I discovered that if I blew dry my hair straight or wavy, I was complimented much more and also seemed to be liked more by TV producers, so it became a habit: my preferred hairstyle for any TV appearances was straight or wavy hair.
Last year my daughter told me she wished her hair was straight. She has kept repeating it despite my efforts to show her that her natural hair is beautiful. Her dad also helps by saying he loves curls and that he married me because he wanted to have a curly-haired girl. I knew I needed to make a change so I even stopped blowing out my own curls.
My daughter is not the only one growing up not loving her curls. Only 4 in 10 little girls think their hair is beautiful, and 41% of little girls would change their natural hair forever if they could, according to a survey commissioned by Dove.
That’s why I am thrilled to join Dove to change this. Our daughters need to feel beautiful regardless of how they look, regardless of whether their hair turns into spirals once it dries or whether it stays straight. I want my daughter to feel she doesn’t need to change her hair to be pretty. As a mom, I hope other parents join me. Research shows that girls are more likely to love their curls if people around them do, too.
If you have curly hair, please share your own story. I’ll be actively sharing on social media tips and my personal experiences using #loveyourcurls. If you’re on Instagram, please show the world how you #loveyourcurls, because girls everywhere are watching and listening. Let’s send them a message that will build their self-confidence instead of telling them to change their natural beauty.