I have heard more times than I would like of my 11 year old daughter telling me how much she dislikes her kinky hair compared to her sisters hair, who in which has more of a looser curl pattern than she does. I ask her why come? and her response is that her shrinkage is problematic. I always try to scramble for the right words to tell her to make her embrace her hair more, so I find myself doing affirmations with her so that she can continuously develop a love and embrace for her own natural curls.
My daughter also informed me how many of the shows she watches doesn't show a reflection of her hair type and looking on various social medias she also sees mostly girls with her sisters hair. It had dawned on me that the way I grew up with seeing certain girls with certain hair types more so portrayed as the main image for black girls. Representation matters not just solely with blacks being on tv but also various types of black girls and their hair matters as well, and when we can have more girls shown on tv shows with kinky hair maybe then more girls will embrace their kinky hair too.
I truly of course believe many things start in the home, and building your child's confidence is key to them seeing their hairs true beauty. Always be cautious of how you speak to them when detangling or styling their hair, I have grown to learn that many of our hair insecurities have steamed behind the words our parents have placed in our heads. So we adopt the theory that because my mother told me my hair was problematic then it must be true. WRONG! For centuries since being forced to come to America we have been forced to mold into the more Eurocentric hair standards than embracing the standards we had prior to being here. When you think about it we adopted our oppressors word choices to describe our hair and children's hair. Speaking life into your child is critical from the moment of birth, choosing uplifting words matter.
Instead of saying things like:
Your hair is Nappy
Your hair is a mess
Your hair is hard to manage
Your hair is too thick
I love your hair
Your hair is high maintenance but it's nothing wrong with that
Your hair is taking a few more steps than others and that's ok
Your hair is full and beautiful
These are just a few words you can select from when handling your little ones hair, more importantly NEVER compare your child's hair to anyone else's, doing so is crippling their self esteem and you have now become apart of a long term problem your child will have to undo in her future. Educating your child on their hair and teaching them various styles to manipulate their curls will also allow them to see their hair differently. More importantly let your child know with how great shrinkage is because its apart of having healthy hair, I inform my daughter that her hair is like mines it's kinky and we just have to suck it up and live with it. If you are needing a way to help your child with affirmations and building up her esteem I highly recommend the Hair and Mental Care Journal for young girls and teens. Adults need help with boosting confidence in their hair as well and if you too are in need of a boost then the Adult Hair and Mental Journal is a great journal for you as well.