Just like early childhood education is important for a child's growth and development. I believe that early self-love education is important for a child's self esteem and confidence.
One of the things I talk about with Maddie often is her hair. Even at age three she is aware of how her hair looks. She watches every morning as I condition, moisturize, seal and style her hair each day. I make it a point to explain what I'm doing so that she can eventually learn to nurture it herself and I also make sure to compliment her and her hair often. I make sure to tell her how much I love how curly, pretty and perfect it is whether it's out in a 'fro or neatly styled. I know it's sticking with her because ever so often she mirrors my compliment right out of the blue by telling me how pretty and perfect she thinks my hair is too.
Women and girls with curly hair tend to feel less confident.
- Only 4 in 10 little girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful.1
- Only 10% of women in the U.S. with curly hair feel proud of their hair.1
I remember having such disdain for my own head full of hair growing up. It was, and still is, extremely thick, and was often hard to manage. Back then, I didn't realize how great my hair actually was just because it was so hard to maintain, not to mention the fact that it wasn't being taken care of properly. Now, there are an abundance of products available for curly hair, like Dove Quench Absolute, and such a heightened awareness about how to maintain and manage natural, curly hair, allowing women to truly nurture and embrace their curls! I've found what works for my hair and now I'm so in love with it, and I've also learned what works and doesn't work for my daughter's hair and continually encourage her to love hers.
Dove's new "Love Your Curls" book, written by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi and illustrated by Annick Poirier is intended to represent and inspire curly girls of all ages. I can't tell you how much I love having resources that include images that are represented of Madison in some way, as characters that look like her or have hair like her can be few and far between at times. I truly loved the story and illustration from the book that's presented below.
Want a free copy of the book for yourself or a curly girl whose hair you adore? Visit Dove.com/LoveYourCurls in order to download yours. You can also create a personalized e-book with a custom dedication and illustration for a curly girl in your life.
I love what Dove Hair is doing through their "Love Your Curls" campaign as it is something that is near and dear to my heart. It's a campaign meant to help encourage women to celebrate their curls and inspire future generations to do the same, since girls are more likely to feel beautiful and proud of their hair if people around them do too. It is for this reason that I make sure to tell Madison how much I love myself, my body and my hair, and to compliment her and hers, among so many other things.
Just like Aibileen Clark in "The Help" made sure to remind Mae Mobley; "you is smart, you is kind, you is important", I often like to remind Madison of the following:
You are Smart
To encourage her to think critically and learn as much as she can.
You are Pretty
To encourage her to love herself and everything that makes her unique;
from her hair to her skin and beyond.
You are a Princess
To encourage her to remember that she has the power to do and be anything
(yes, even be a princess - think Kate Middleton).
I hope curly girls everywhere can be inspired by Dove's "Love Your Curls" campaign and are being taught to truly love themselves, and everything that makes up who they are. Let self-love start with you, the parent, by showing the love you have for yourself and allow it to trickle down to your child(ren) as a learned behavior. Those are the ones that truly stick!
Be sure to follow Maddie's journey on Instagram, via @toddlerhaircare, where we feature styles, regimens, products & all things hair for toddlers with natural hair, like hers!
Love your curls,
1Dove Hair Study Conducted by Edelman Berland, October 2014