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I am a ’90s baby through and through. I grew up when it was commonplace for your grandmothers to place the hot comb on the stove on Saturday night … to make sure your hair was pressed for church Sunday morning. Getting my first relaxer in elementary school was a rite of passage, and I was SO excited when my mom let me get one before my older cousin. In the ’90s having thick, natural hair was considered having “nappy hair” and seen as unmanageable, so we did not manage.
I was well into my 20s when I decided to go natural. And after having my first son I reverted back to the idea that having natural hair was “too hard” so back to relaxer I went. Finally, in my 30s, I’ve learned to love and care for my hair in its completely natural state. And when I learned I was pregnant with my third child, a baby girl … I knew that I wanted her to love herself and her natural hair completely as well.
It has been proven time and time again that a lack of representation in the media can lead to negative effects on children. And while the Lupita Nyong’os of our time are definitely more represented in the media, there is undoubtedly still a lack of diversity in children’s programming. My daughter just turned one year old and I, as her mother, as a Black woman, want to ensure that she sees an accurate representation of herself in the books and shows that she consumes. I’m on a mission to make sure she loves her natural hair, and so I intentionally look for books that celebrate hair in all forms. These are some of our absolute favorites.