To Those With Naturally Curly Hair

To Those With Naturally Curly Hair

You can look, but please don't touch.
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To my kinky -- curly beauties,

To the girls who take the time to patiently diffuse their hair,

To those who choose the comb over the brush,

To the girls whose hair is praised for being “cool” or “ethnic,” instead of for its stunning beauty,

To those who are told their hair is better straightened, that their natural and authentic self is not enough because it does meet the white standards of beauty,

This message goes out to you.

First, let me start off by saying that you, and your natural curls, in whatever form they come, are perfect just the way they are.

You don’t need to grab the flat iron for every special occasion in order to look good. If that’s what you choose to do, that’s fine. It’s always nice to mix things up. But, know that when your hair hits the water and your curls come back, your beauty has not been lost. You slay like no one else.

As someone with curly hair, I’m unable to count the number of times people have come up to me and told me how “different” my hair looks. And then, to make it worse, they ask if they can touch it. Comments like these, while probably meant to be harmless, have made me feel like an outsider like there is something drastically different between me and the white students I got to school with. That because my hair is natural it will always be seen as interesting or different, but never beautiful.

But here’s a little secret; I am different. We are different. And that is something we should embrace. Our hair is a reflection of where we come from; it’s a reflection of who we are.

And that’s something we should be proud of.

Natural hair and beauty have been suppressed for decades upon decades in this country. Afros are synonymous with an unkempt, animalistic nature. European beauty ideals have held the spot at the top, and there’s nothing wrong with assimilating to them if that’s what you choose to do. But there is so much culture behind your natural hair that deserves recognition.

As a biracial woman, my curls symbolize the mix of ethnicities I possess. It’s a statement I make each day that no, my hair doesn’t look like the hair of my white friends, and that’s okay. That should be celebrated. Lifting up your culture does not serve to put another culture down.

So be curly and proud. That, in no way, takes from the beauty of the girl with pin straight hair.

She is beautiful and so are you.

Let your curls be a symbol of who you are, of where you come from, and of the rich cultures that coat each strand.

And the next time someone tells you to grab an iron and tame your mane, flip your curls and walk on by. Your hair is something to embrace.

Cover Image Credit: CDN

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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You Are Not Defined By Others, Only You Can Determine Who You Are

When asked who I was, I realized that I could not list all of the things that have shaped me throughout my life.

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In college classrooms, I frequently get asked about who I am, and what has shaped me into the person that I have become. I have often been questioning my personal identity and the aspects of my life that make me unique. While this intense reflection on who I am can seem frustrating and useless, it has given me a greater sense of myself and a deeper understanding of my place in society.

I was assigned the "Who Am I" poem, which is an assignment that allows students to reflect on their own identity, and the pieces that have helped shape them into the person that they are today. These poems are a great way to encourage self-reflection and either look at the broader aspects of your life or focus on a specific idea to discover your identity. Each statement begins with the powerful words "I am.." which allows you to define yourself in your own words and can allow others to recognize aspects of themselves that are similar to you.

I am sharing my "Who Am I" poem, in the hopes that you will reflect on your own identity and realize you unique you truly are.

Who Am I?

I am a military child, the daughter of an Active Duty soldier and an honorably discharged civilian.

I am the older sister with fiery red hair who is fiercely defensive of her younger brother and little cousins.

I am a member of a small family and am split between a Catholic, conservative side and a liberal, non-religious side. My family is my rock, and I am fiercely loyal to those I love.

I come from large Thanksgiving dinners around my grandmother's table, and putting dried apple slices into homemade butternut squash soup.

I love driving down winding roads and being surrounded by the colors of fall and nature.

I am a lifelong learner through years of cultural experience, media exposure, and the experiences of friends, family, and strangers I meet.

I am a woman who has traveled to over thirty countries across the globe.

I come from walking around in markets and bargaining to get the best price on what I want.

I am a bubble of energy and a force to be reckoned with who has trained with the police academy for self-defense.

I am a certified yoga teacher who strives to share her passion and energy of the mental and physical healing properties with others.

I am a dedicated listener, and try not to say everything that comes into my head.

I am half-Jewish, half-Catholic, and continuously questioning about my religious identity because I am unsure where I fit.

I am a mix of many European cultures but embraced my Irish heritage when I kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland.

I am a strong advocate for what I believe in and stand up for those who cannot do it for themselves.

I am a writer, who strives to share her opinions and beliefs with others so that they can create their own.

I am a person who believes in the freedom to choose who you want to be, not be defined by stereotypes or social norms.

I am myself, and there is no one else I'd rather be.

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