My coils and kinks complement my other physical features, but in reality, they have also played a big role in my self confidence.
My hair has helped me stand up for myself, boss up during important meetings and sell my skill set.
Physically, my hair hasn't made any important decisions (obviously), but going natural did something I didn't expect: change the way I saw myself. It boosted my confidence.
I don't know if you've ever had this feeling, but there is something intimate and revealing about choosing to embrace the way you were created. It exposes your truth in ways unimaginable.
Right before I went natural while evolving into my twenties, I experienced the insecurities many young women have during that age. I was constantly questioning my thoughts, actions and looks, even though I looked well put together on the outside. While my confidence issues weren't completely off the charts, it was so easy to look at the person next to me and wonder why I didn't have X,Y, and Z. I was constantly trying to "keep up" -- I wasn't being my true self.
When I discovered women were actually OK with exposing their truths (and their natural hair textures), I knew I wanted to learn my roots and see what I looked like without chemicals and alterations.
I wanted to love that person, and not the person society wanted to mold me into. Although I knew I would have pushback from my family, I knew there was no way I wasn't going to pass up something I was curious about. While I knew the decision to embrace my curly hair texture would alter my physical appearance, the internal journey was mind-blowing. I learned it was much more than the coils I styled each day.
My personal journey was about internal growth, maturity and self-confidence.
The journey to natural hair helped me look at areas in my life where I knew I could no longer compromise. It allowed me to tell myself, "Hey, this is you. This is who you are, so own it." Since then, my little pep talks, which started about my hair, have carried on. Now that it's been seven years since my big chop, I often reflect back and give thanks for allowing Victoria to be introduced to Victoria 2.0.
Today, there is something so gratifying about standing in the mirror and admiring the features of the person I am, and who I want to become.
Years ago, I'm not sure if it would've happened; I might have been more worried about my skin complexion, my full lips and probably other things I could've found wrong at the time. This is one of the many reasons I tell my readers on my blog that going natural isn't just about hair, it's about building confidence that goes along with it and everything else in between. I now bring that confidence when writing contracts, engaging with readers, speaking at events and creating new content.