ABOUT "BEYOND THE KINK" INITIATIVE
Mission: Empower African Women to advance in the global economy.
PASSION, DESTINY, SUCCESS!
More than just hair ...
Some have labelled the natural hair movement a trend or a fad. But for most of us embarking on this journey back to our kinks and curls, it is a personal mission of self discovery, self acceptance, creativity and patience (lots and lots of patience).
"But it's just hair!" many would say. Yes and no. While there is nothing more personal than the strands that grow from one's own scalp, hair has for century defined the identity, ethnicity, social class and personality of an individual.
As described in a BBC article titled how does black hair reflect black history? "In early African civilisations, hairstyles could indicate a person's family background, tribe and social status. Just about everything about a person's identity could be learned by looking at the hair, says journalist Lori Tharps, who co-wrote the book Hair Story about the history of black hair."
Suddenly a personal journey to a natural state can become an opposition to social norms and a quest full of doubts: can I wear my natural hair to work? Will my boyfriend or husband be receptive? Will I be defined by my hair? Can I even maintain it? It can also become an endeavor of defending your new natural state to family, friends, coworkers and even strangers!!! "No this is not a political statement", "yes, I'm sure I want to do this" or "I know, I do look different and I love it!"
Once your mind is made up, it's time to choose the bold route of a big chop or the cautious road of transitioning (it took me 3 tried and I opted for the ladder). Regardless of the means, the destination is the same: You will discover a new texture that brings excitement (and frustration at times). Tools like the Africans Gone Natural Instagram account and YouTube become your best friends as you learn to twist, braid, detangle and co-wash! You've discovered that you are part of a growing sisterhood of naturalistas and more over you've become an unapologetic Afrikinky Diva!!
So now what? Well, there are key lessons you've applied throughout this journey toward your new found confidence. And these nuggets of wisdom go far beyond the kinks. For example, it took determination to get to the state where you are. You had to break the norm, be comfortable with the unfamiliar, learn and persevere. Who knew natural hair would unveil the leadership characteristics sleeping inside of you! In some cases, you've even converted your doubters into Afrikinky Divas in training, embarking on the same journey as you! I bet you did not know how a single personal decision could affect you and your environment!
This section of the African Gone Natural website will motivate you to keep pushing forward in other areas of your life by applying key principles of success including some you've used to become natural. So brace yourself... Now that you look the part, get ready to play the part!
African Gone Natural Contributor
Find me @neatpitch
About the author
Jennifer has over 10 years experience in the Financial Industry. She started her career as a consultant at Deloitte and worked in many renowned institutions such as Morgan Stanley and UBS. She is now a Vice President at BNP Paribas the second largest bank in the .
Jennifer holds a bachelor degree from the University at Albany (SUNY) and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from NYU Stern. She is a wife, a mother and an avid writer.
BEYOND THE KINKY PROGRAMS
“By increasing women’s participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and productivity, we can have a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of our economies.”