Embrace Yourself According To Your Own Standards!

Greetings Brown Beauties!

This morning on my personal Instagram I shared this picture:

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Left side is of me with a face full of makeup. Right side is me makeup free. I feel absolutely beautiful in both pictures but truly prefer no makeup at all. Truth is, there is something absolutely regal about my natural brown skin and natural hair. I feel powerful and fortunate for the amount of love I’ve installed in myself. Though it was truly a journey to get here.

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You see this beautiful chocolate cutie with natural hair–long ago, she was me. I come from a huge family (11 siblings) all of whom were lighter than I was. I struggled with my identity, without actually knowing it would be a journey leading up to how amazing I feel today.

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Ahh the journey…It started with a natural girls nemesis…or creamy crack…or a relaxer. However you refer to it, I NEEDED to look like the pretty girls on the Just For Me box. So at age 13, I begged, pleaded and cried for a relaxer until my mom gave in. Dragging my younger sister right along with me. Mind you, she is high yellow and didn’t have natural hair as painfully course as mine, but she got the relaxer as well. We were both disappointed with the results. I guess we thought after it was blow dried, our hair would be laid, shiny and bone straight. That wasn’t the case since my mom had no clue what she was doing and only permed our hair twice per year.

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So I went through my teenage years with the desire to look like a Barbie. Beautiful. At least, that was my interpretation of the word. Natural hair wasn’t highlighted and my dark skin wasn’t easily accepted. So I got relaxers throughout my teenage years, so I could fit in. At least until around age 23 when my hair began breaking off uncontrollably. So, I cut it all off (Big Chop *fist pump*) and never looked back.

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Two things ended up happening as a result of this journey/experience: (1) I was influenced by what the media deemed necessary–we didn’t have cable until I was in my teenage years but even basic free channels had the commercials advertising relaxers. (2) I influenced my baby sister to follow my lead. So the lesson here was the power of influence. Recognizing how much of an impact you can make on someone else just by the choices you make.

Whatever makes you happy about yourself, embrace it. Just be comfortable with who you are according to your own standards. Then take that energy and use it to encourage and uplift other brown skin natural hair beauties.

Happy Natural,

Carmen Veal

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