The presence of Black American Olympians dominating their respective sports this summer was a representative testament to our country’s diversity. The ongoing shaming of Gabby Douglas’ natural edges, however, portrays our country’s lack of acceptance of that diversity ― particularly when it comes to natural hair.
What better way to combat that prejudice than with unapologetic and celebratory expressions of self love from the natural hair community? That’s why The Huffington Post asked readers to share a selfie of their natural curls, coils and kinks with a caption telling the whole world what their hair means to them using our hashtag #MyNaturalHairJourneyIs.
The submissions show that no two hair journeys are exactly alike. Some wear their hair natural as a declaration of defiance, a symbolic crown worn proudly against the status quo. Others do it to be true to nature, their heritage and their beautiful selves.
Check out all of the compelling photos below and join the conversation in the comments section, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #MyNaturalHairJourneyIs. We may even feature your selfie next time!
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs natural by any means necessary.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs proof that I don’t have to follow rules to be accepted by society! My hair is loc’d, not my mind or the way I handle myself.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs glorious! My crown is a reflection of God’s creativity.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs hopefully an inspiration to women who need help accepting their natural beauty in a society that values Eurocentric beauty standards.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs responsible for my confidence.
Growing my hair ― all of it everywhere ― makes me feel free, wild, and connected to the divine.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs learning to be comfortable with my thick wool-like hair that I was born with.
#NyNaturalHairJourneyIs is a great expression of self-love.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs cosmopolitan, not comical.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs my return to to my ancestors.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs big and fun! I love my hair!
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs feeling one with nature.
Loving our coils helps us feel a closeness to our lineage.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs dauntless, deliberate me.
#MyNaturalHairJourneyIs something that makes me feel proud, healthy, and happy that I made the choice to stop using relaxer.