Nature has given me a delicate flower to adorn my body forever. It loves me unconditionally, allowing me to change the color, length, volume, and texture of my flower without forcing me to sacrifice its original characteristics.

Sure, going the natural route can be somewhat complex, tedious, and time intensive--but all the things in life that matter are that way, really.

Why would I ever want to conceal this beautiful flower from the world? My natural hair is proof of the ability to withstand many trials and testaments given to me as lessons to both myself and those around me. These lessons are yet to be fully determined, but I've concluded that some of them are centered around these concepts: a recognition of strength, an acceptance of self, a movement towards growth.

The natural hair community has been a lovely gear in accompanying the progression of other cultural movements of today.

...#BlackLivesMatter and #BlackGirlMagic, to name a couple. Thanks to social media, I am able to receive a neverending stream of inspiration through my feed in the form of photos, captions, blog posts, and videos. At the surface, I share many things in common with the beautiful people of the world, and it makes me feel connected and worthy of this journey.

Even if, beyond the surface, we have completely different views and values, I can still open my eyes a little wider and acknowledge the perspective of those walking the same Earth and breathing the same air as myself. 

I started transitioning when Instagram first launched. At the time, I didn't understand the impact it would have on the natural hair community; in the beginning, there were maybe a few thousand posts using the hashtag #naturalhair. To date, there are nearly 8 million glorious natural hair selfie posts. This goes to show the impact of an actual cultural movement being made, not just a passing trend meant to strictly serve vanity and ego. I've felt flattered to see many of my own being reposted on popular pages merely for inspiration and nothing technical or ignorant (AKA "What did you use to get 'that look'?" or "How did you get your hair 'like that'?").

It is an awesome thing to see someone openly loving their natural features and encouraging their peers to do the same.

Everyday there are new blogs, YouTube channels, and Instagram pages dedicated to the beauty of natural hair. In my free time, I can count on my hair crushes to lace me up with their personal regimens. And while it can be difficult these days to spot the genuine people from the perpetrators, I like to focus my attention on how their energy and demeanor makes me feel about my own beauty.

There's a genuine light that comes through with anyone sharing something with a true passion, and the natural hair movement has given many of us--myself, included--a boost in feeling confident to openly share things on a wide range of topics. From healthy living, to personal style and beauty, to motherhood, there is no shortage of chances for a spectacular unity within our community.

The bottom line: Stay inspired, inspire others.

Whatever matters to you most in life, share it. Smile often. 
Remain aware of the social happenings of today, and do your part to make this world better for your children and your community members. Keep the natural hair movement alive, and keep spreading love by embracing your true, raw, natural self in all its righteousness.

Follow me @DevriVelazquez | Photos courtesy of @Monique_Rdz (styled by Mysterious By NPN)