Disney shows young women that curls and coils are just as beautiful as straight and wavy hair.

Debby Ryan and Skai Jackson

Like most kids, I spent a lot of time in front of the TV watching my favorite shows. I would sometimes even go so far as to imagine myself as some of the characters. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the cute and adorable kids from shows like "Full House" and "Seventh Heaven?" But the problem is none of those girls ever really looked like me.

Fast forward to now. I’m a lot older, and I still find myself watching and loving children’s shows and with new shows have come new characters that surprisingly look something like me. I was more than overjoyed when I saw beautiful black girls with… NATURAL HAIR.  While I have no issue with straight tresses, it was refreshing to see something different. After a lifetime of being bombarded with images of beauty that I could never attain, it was truly heartening to know that Disney was slowing but surely expanding its definition of beautiful — a standard that finally included me.

What excites me even more is that young girls will finally see more TV characters who look just like them. I shudder when I hear stories of children who wrap their heads with towels and t- shirts, or buy costume wigs to pretend that they have long locks like Hannah Montana and other child stars. I can’t help but wonder if those girls would have been more accepting of themselves and their hair if the girls they looked up to on TV had hair just like them. I can’t help but wonder how many young black girls would beg their mothers for big poofy hair if Hannah Montana was black and rocked a fro. We might have to wait a while for a major Disney star to rock their kinks, but we are slowly but surely getting there as more and more Disney stars opt to rock their natural hair.

MORE: Steel Magnolias Brings Big Hair to the Small Screen