Click Title for Video:
Like many of have seen this cute Sesame Street clip on Youtube I was really touched and drawn to the message of self-love and acceptance. Our society puts so much pressure on women to be conform to a single standard of beauty and unfortunately for many of us, that standard is not only too high it's impossibly unattainable. As I watched this video I wondered how many doubts and struggles with self-esteem I might have avoided if I had been bombarded with more messages like this as a child.
Check out the video and read more commentary after the jump...
As an adult who has embraced my natural kinks, curls and coils I can happily announce that I too "Love my hair!" Despite my choice and my acceptance my tresses, I do understand that others may not always be so accepting of my choice, which is why I think it's so important for messages like this to be more available. There is a certain strength and resilience afforded by self-acceptance that helps you deal with the weird looks, the probing questions, the stares, the unsolicited opinions, and in some cases the rejection.
For women of color especially, there are so many messages, so much history, so much value associated with our hair. Ladies, Girls, women, in the word's of India Arie , we are not our hair. The explanation of who we are comes from our experiences, influences, genetics, parentage, choices and a slew of other indicators. In some cases split second judgements, all a mere first impression allows for, are the only glimpse into our vast greatness others will ever have. For women and young girls of color, it is especially important to fully embrace and fall in love with the package you're blessed with, and that includes your majestic and magnificent crown.
I applaud Sesame Street for taking on big issues like Self-Esteem and Self Love and delivering a simple and plain message clear enough for all to understand: Whether you're black white, or brown, straight or gay, whether your hair is curly or bone straight- Love it! Love everything that makes you different. Fall head over heels in love with every would be flaw that sets you apart. Where there is love one can find the strength to handle it when others don't accept or understand them.
It's important to instill this in our children-especially young girls as early as possible so that when they are exposed to billion dollar advertising and marketing campaigns, songs and messages that try to dissuade them of believing they are valued, they won't succumb to the pressure to conform. This is a powerful message that I hope is reinforced with conversation. Sure it's just a Youtube video of a children's show but imagine the change we could see in future generations if we could all learn to truly love and accept ourselves.
What are your thoughts on the women who choose to wear their hair in natural styles? Do you think Sesame Street did a good job of delivering a message of self-love to children?