Imagine a world if you will, of conjured genies in a bottle and with one wish we would utterly love every aspect of ourselves, or with a twitch of the nose we would instantly have bewitched powers, concocting a magic potion of self love. A life free of complications?…Maybe, but a pretty dull, superficial and vain one as well, yet with all that being said, if you gave me that opportunity in my youth as a young girl, I am not so sure I would dismiss the thought so easily. 
 
Most of you are very familiar with my hair woes, so I am not going to drudge up that long detailed past, but for those who are unfamiliar, the summarized version is it took me years to eventually cease and desist of all chemicals. What many of you may not know is once natural it took me additional years to overcome the hate I had for my natural texture, learning to love my crown was a more than “just hair” process. A long road of many battles, until I eventually won the war…yes, the road to self love in any form is very much an emotional war.  Of course hate is a strong word,  defined as an “intense or passionate dislike”, I quickly sugarcoated those feelings then, but as I look back today, no matter the denial or how I tried to blind sight the past, hate is exactly what it was. I struggled to hide the texture of my 4c strands with the voraciousness of a 5 year old who just heard the ice-cream truck. Daily heat sessions or strand manipulations such as braid outs and spiral sets held the reins to imitate a texture that was far different than my own. I use to cringe at the slightest hint of any signs of reversion. Now, to use elongation methods for tresses in a manner of easier manipulation, management or just a change of strand scenery is every natural’s hair given right, though for my own objectives the use of these tactics were to mask the discontent. Eventually coming to terms with those self-loathing sentiments in any capacity is not an easy act to stomach, and years later once awoken from the haze I had my Matrix moment:
 
Neil: Why do my eyes hurt
Morpheus: You’ve never used them before 
 
Without the aid of the red pill I had to extract the mental blinders from my eyes, simply put, I owned up to my truth and called it for what it actually was, but instead of the gates opening, over flooding my current state with a sense of relief, I immediately felt a sense of shame. Today I realize that all of those residual sentiments were just the beginning ingredients that would fuel the fire to a feeling that would overcome them all…love, and there is no shame in that.
 
Yes, as fairytale-beautiful as this sounds, and it most certainly is, these butterfly emotions did not happen over night, there was no premonition, no cupid’s arrow of awakening, or evoked spirits possessing me to love what I hated for so long. What did happen was I had to work my way out of the rabbit hole; experience the journey and eradicate my environment, meaning the people I surrounded myself with. I chose to leave my decade long career of modeling, due to internal factors that were not encouraging my growth or self-confidence.  Having consultations on what to do with my hair or hearing one too many times that “natural is great but to an extent” or  ”you could go so far if you only did something with your hair” was not the type of advice I wanted to hear. This is not in anyway to harp over a career that has its many advantages. Like any job it comes with it’s pros and cons, I was not naive to that factor and by any means I am not saying I was ungrateful or did not recognize the requirements. As a brands visual representation, the client molds you in the image they see fit, but my problem was I was taking the job home, my psyche was becoming altered in how I saw myself, I begin to perpetuate a false identity of what I thought was beautiful, this false sense of reality was invading the core of who I was meant to be, stunting my self growth. I had to decide if money was worth the deterioration of what I once saw as so beautiful…my Mother’s image. I had to decide if the limitations or ignorance of what others saw as ideal beauty was worth my mind body and soul…I decided it wasn’t. I had to make a drastic change.
 
Today it is an incredible feeling to come full circle and co-found Urban Bush Babes, collaborating with those who are breaking down the stereotypes of what “ideal beauty” is, surrounded by and working with others who can accept all of me with no altercations to fit the “norm”.  In order to do that I had to shed the cocoon, readjust my values so I could not only spread my wings but take a stand in redefining that beauty is more than just aesthetics, and that took a change of environment, not just the surroundings but the people and things attributing to those “standards”.
 
So my advice to you is to rid the negativity from your life and be honest with yourself, as cliche as it sounds this is the infallible constant. You have to face the truth in order to destroy what is stifling your growth. Positivity can bloom from negativity but only if negativity is not given room to develop and define your life. Through struggle comes great strength and that is when the real beauty emerges.