‘How nice of you, you adopted a black child'.
This is what my mother would hear on a day-to-day basis when people were seeing us walking down the street when I was little.
My hair was very curly and my skin was darker than what people were used to in Southern Italy. Even though everyone in the region is directly or indirectly mixed, seeing my type of profiles was very unusual.
I grew up surrounded by people who looked completely different from me, which convinced me that I actually had to do something to look like them, to fit in.
In my mind, having curls wasn’t neat and presentable. Straight hair definitely was.
Going to the US and evolving in an environment that is more multicultural than Italy was an eye-opener.
Witnessing all these women wearing their natural hair helped me to see the beauty of it and understand that embracing it was simpler than fighting it.
Now living in London, I am happy to see very diverse types of beauty, which also makes it easier for me to see myself represented in very different ways.
However, I am convinced that this representation can also be looked for! We now have access to an incredible amount of resources.
For the past 4 years, I started following a lot of US curly haired bloggers who often refer to amazing hair products, products that are only becoming available in UK high street retailers!
The need for these have been existing for ages, but it looks like retailers only understand it now… It shows that there still is a lot of work to be done.