Victoria: I've always been interested in hair since around the 6th grade. I remember watching other girls with curly hair and wishing that it was mine. I didn't get picked on until the 8th grade though (2002). My hair was naturally brittle and girls would tease me saying that I had "beady beads" in the back of my hair. I use to say to God, "I wish that I was mixed so I could have curly hair", not understanding then that African American women have curly hair as well.
NMI: After God didn't grant your wish, what did you do?
Victoria: I would be really self-conscious about my hair. I wouldn't wear ponytails or updo's because I didn't want to be picked on. It wasn't until I graduated from high school (2006) that I was eager to learn about my hair. I relaxed my hair and wanted color also. After my hair was damaged, I decided to go on a healthy hair journey. On my 25th birthday, instead of applying my usual relaxer, I decided to go natural.
NMI: Yes! You finally squashed the bullies?
Victoria: I never squashed the bullies. I had to learn that bullies have issues and instead of dealing with them, they take their frustrations out on other people. My mom always told me to "Let them see the God in you" and that's what helped me to stay sane. I did feel humiliated and harbored resentment until I watched My Natural Sistas video and realized that I needed to let the hurt go. The video focused on accepting who you are and how different women dealt with being bullied.
NMI: Yes, you did squash them when you stopped being intimidated by their sneers and welcomed your God given beauty. Tell me about your career and how you're educating others on how to move beyond the good hair/bad hair debate.
Victoria: I'm working towards an Associate Degree in Communications at the University of Phoenix. I would like to work for a media source such as Essence magazine to be the voice that most young girls never hear. I motivate people to go natural, as we often get comfortable with relaxed hair, forgetting that natural hair is just as beautiful. I don't mind the use of weaves or extensions as protective styles but when you become dependent upon them to feel beautiful, that's an issue.
NMI: Any final words for young girls or even women dealing with bullying issues that you have overcome?
Victoria: Ladies, embrace and love who God created you to be. No one can be you, but you and that's so deserving!
My Napps R Beautiful