Anyway, part of the ad that Dove has put out there is a factoid stating that only 4 out of 10 girls with curly hair think their hair is beautiful. I'm not sure where they got that number, but I believe it. In fact, watching the video with little girls saying how much they hate their curls made me cry. Literally. I was a big soggy lump on the couch wanting to hug each and every one of those beautiful little girls!
Then, Dove invited me, not personally but it could've been, to share my own story. They apparently want to write a book of poems about curly hair and are looking for free inspiration. Yeah, ok, I'm keen. So this is what I sent them:
You can't keep a good curl down.
I was born with curly hair. It runs on both sides of my family so I really couldn't help but be genetically predisposed to the curl. I hated it. All the pretty girls in the magazines and on tv had straight silky hair that flowed in a perfect cascade down their back. The only girls on tv with curly hair were the outcasts and nerds. I wanted to be one of the pretty girls. I was nerdy and outcast enough on my own, I didn't need curly hair to make it even worse!
When I was a child, I insisted at the hair salon on having my thick hair all one, long length to try to "pull out" as much of the curl as possible. I wore my hair in a pony tail every day, ashamed of my curl. People asked why I never wore my hair loose, until one day I did, and it was then accepted that I should always restrain my untamed locks.
When I got older, I spent a small fortune on relaxants, calmers, and straighteners. I used gels, creams, sprays, heat, anything to torture my hair into straightness. Nothing worked. As soon as the slightest damp, the whisper of breeze, or even a wild thought touched my head, my hair would begin to frizz. There was just no taming the beast.
So I gave up. By this time I had a family, and financial responsibilities beyond hair torture. I made peace with the fact that I would never have pretty hair. But then something odd began to happen. I began looking in the mirror, and actually liking my hair. At first I was sure it was a fluke. Just one of those days when I was in a particularly good mood. But it started happening more and more. I liked what I saw! I started not caring so much if people saw my shameful wild curls and left my hair down. Another odd thing began to happen: I got compliments. "I wish I could have curly hair like you," women would utter the words with awe in their voices. "I've spent a fortune on perms trying to get a fraction of that curl," they would say, "You are so lucky!" And yes, yes I am. Not because I have curly hair, but because I'm learning to love it, and love myself.
There are still days that my hair gets pulled back because there's just a little too much hair to deal with that day, but that's ok, too. My hair is just like me: a wild, passionate, untamed beauty.