I’m so thrilled that in this day and age, black women can create spaces to celebrate their natural beauty with each other. Black sisterhood is important, reinforcing black beauty is also important and having a social environment where black women are not only setting the standard for beauty but also encouraging other women to embrace themselves naturally is pivotal. The natural hair community has not only increased in numbers on social media but they are taking the movement to public spaces to celebrate black girl magic, naturally.
Three years ago, Curly Girl Collective began hosting Curlfest, a natural hair festival that takes place at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. The women that have founded Curly Girl Collective are a team that focuses on marketing and branding within the natural hair community. Their expertise range from public relations, project management and art to social media and marketing. With the success of reaching more than 66 million social media impressions and solidifying a strong and loyal audience, Curlfest is now one of the most anticipated natural hair events during the summer in New York City.
This was my first time attending! I think I started hearing about Curlfest two years ago in passing when someone asked me if I was going to attend. The idea of a festival that would celebrate natural of course it appealed to me so I had to go. It was a beautiful Sunday on June 29th when I arrived in Brooklyn. The further I got into Brooklyn, the more naturals I was seeing and we were all going to the same place. There is something special about seeing a black woman rock her natural in all her glory. Her confidence is unmatched, she’s unbothered and she walks with her head high and her hair just slays as if she was destined to wear her crown in the sun. This type of confidence needs to be celebrated more and seen more in media and in our everyday lives. I will say this however; nobody compliments and uplifts black women like other black women!
Everywhere I turned at Curlfest I heard, “ Yes girl, your hair is beautiful!” or “ Girl, I love your hair!” It was magical to see and hear all these black women talk about their hair journey both good and bad. Black women will travel across the country to celebrate themselves and each other because if nobody else loves us, who will? There is this misconception that women that are natural are always praised – I can confirm we are not. We have lost love interests, we’ve been passed up on job opportunities and ridiculed by family members and friends for having natural hair. We need events like Curlfest to allow us to be in a safe space, even for a limited time to embrace ourselves an each other. We can never have enough spaces to gather to tell each other, “ Hey Sis, you look good and your hair is beautiful!”
Image credit: Ike Slimster