Happy Holiday’s Holen Apparel Family!
I’m April- a model, actress, and Disney princess who still is trying to get this “just be yourself” thing down.
Wellness is something I strive for each and every day both in my personal and professional life. If you did not already know, wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence. It is also understanding that your physical health is directly related to your mental/emotional health and vice versa.
This means having high self-esteem and confidence in your self-identity can affect your health in a positive way.
However, seeing ourselves in a positive manner is often easier said than done- especially when it comes to our hair and beauty. The relationship between self-esteem and hair is a close one for many! Hair, especially in the multicultural community, is deeply rooted in identity. Creating a loving relationship with your hair is a complex and always evolving journey. To best cultivate a philosophy of emotional wellness, it is important to develop an awareness and acceptance of who you are, then understand how to express your feelings in ways that are respectful to yourself and others. This process begins by realizing that you and your hair are special, unique, and worthy of respect and love.
Being multiracial- my hair journey has perhaps been one of the largest parts of me learning how to be the boldest, truest, version of myself. Growing up mixed I never felt like I had the right to completely express myself. I never felt “white enough” and never felt “black enough”.
I’ve always loved braids, cornrows, twists, and head scarfs. But, part of me felt like I had to earn the right to embrace those parts of my heritage. I didn’t want to be seen as someone who was trying too hard. Now, I’ve realized that waiting for permission to do something will leave you waiting for a lifetime. If my white friends were going to make fun of my hair for not being sleek straight- I didn’t want them as friends. And, if my black friends said I was an “Oreo” who was trying too hard to pose as a black girl- that had more to do with their own insecurities than it had to do with me.
As I have passed over into the professional world my hair journey has continued. I have watched as the fashion and entertainment industry slowly embrace diversity with enthusiasm. More curls are making their way onto covers of magazines. Celebrities are finally speaking out against the microaggression they’ve experienced related to their hair (thank you Zendaya) and multicultural peoples are finally wearing dreads, twists, and braids while waltzing down the red carpet. Walking onto some of the largest sets in Hollywood- whether it be for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards or a Nike photoshoot- I was aware of one thing. The first thing the hair and makeup artists were going to do was pull out the flat iron- straightening my hair as sleek as they could get it- reinforcing the idea to me that there was only one version of beautiful and that my natural, big, wild, mixed girl curls still hadn’t been accepted on the platform of western beauty norms. BUT, that finally is changing. My last three modeling jobs didn’t only allow me to wear my curls but encouraged it.
Every day we have the opportunity to pick authenticity, and doing so reminds ourselves and those around us that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. We are the generation that might finally get this “being true to yourself” and “owning your quarks” thing down. Remember, there is no better you than you.