This Festival Showed Exactly Why Kids of Color Should be Encouraged to Embrace Their Natural Hair

kids at curlfest

As I walked up to Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Saturday, July 21, my two friends and I started to discuss how growing up we didn't see many girls of color embracing their natural hair. Many young girls, including myself, frequently used heat and chemicals to alter their natural hair texture as a means to fit in. That was not what my friends and I saw as we entered CurlFest. 

CurlFest, an annual beauty festival hosted by Curly Girl Collective, serves as a celebratory space for women of color to embrace their natural hair. The festival is full of vendors, fashion, music, and a whole lot of gorgeous hair. Because this was my second year attending CurlFest, I wasn't at all surprised to see the massive overflow of melanin magic happening around me, but this year I did notice how many beautiful, proud kids there were rocking their kinks and curls all over the place. 

  • It's something to see a lot of women my age embracing their natural hair, because it took some of us a while to get here. 

    women at curlfest 2018
    Kayla Boyd/CafeMom

    Many women my age and older have gone through stages of hating our hair, hiding our hair, and not always knowing what to do with it. Whether it was perms or constant straightening (guilty), it's not always easy to confidently own your natural hair in a society that still says it's unprofessional or even against school dress code

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  • That's why seeing all of the kids at CurlFest embracing their natural fros was so inspiring. 

  • Their vibrant outfits and genuine carefree smiles radiated throughout the park. 

  • No matter their hair texture or curl pattern, the little girls were there to steal the show! 

  • Whether they rocked sassy styles like this front poof ...

  • ... or this half-up side ponytail, they KNEW they looked fabulous. 

  • And don't think that there were no little boys embracing their beautiful curls as well! 

  • It made me so happy to see kids of color learning at a young age to love their hair, their skin, and themselves -- completely and unapologetically.

    If I would have realized how poppin' my curls were when I was their age, I would have avoided a lot of years of hair damage and not appreciating what I had to the fullest potential. 

  • No matter how young, the kids at CurlFest slayed the day away. 

    I love that these kids are being shown that they deserve to be celebrated and admired for all that they are. It's truly a beautiful thing. 

beauty race