With the season of giving approaching, what's more appropriate than giving thanks to our curly celebrities for being so amazing? These women are beautiful, successful, and great role models for curlies everywhere. They are an inspiration for all of us to embrace our curls and give back to the community.
1. Mariah Carey
Loving her curls and her curves, singer/songwriter Mariah is also heavily involved in The Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit agency committed to providing underprivileged children with a free summer experience. The Fresh Air Fund believes in the transformative power of outdoor physical activity, as well as any activity that will help children develop into successful adults. Mariah Carey is not only a board member but has her very own Camp Mariah. Camp Mariah serves as the fund’s “Career Awareness Camp,” helping youths explore career possibilities and educational paths available to them. Coming from a humble background as well, Mariah knows all about what these children need to succeed.
2. Taylor Swift
This country music artist always rocks her amazing twists on the stage, and she supports a number of different causes. Alarmed by the growing amount of Internet sex crimes, in 2007 she launched a campaign to protect young adults from online predators. Partnering with the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, Taylor Swift worked to distribute information about internet safety to parents and young adults so that they might be more aware of the growing threat. Earlier in the year, Swift helped with the "Hope for Haiti" benefit by singing and answering telephone calls from people donating to the relief fund. Still a very young star, it will be interesting to see how this young philanthropist will give back in the future.
Hailing from Washington, D.C, this hip-hop singer and dancer is involved in more ways than one, and is a cute curly by nature. Since 1998, she has been all over the entertainment industry, releasing albums, creating her own label, and appearing in movies as both a singer and actress. But Mýa doesn’t only sing for movies and shows, she also has a variety of causes that she supports. Using her talent to benefit others, she recently performed for the Africare Health Jam in Washington, D.C, and joined Wyclef Jean in the remake of "We are the World," an effort to raise money for the victims in Haiti. In 2005, she started her own non-profit organization called TMATF, or, The Mýa Arts and Tech Foundation. She acts as both a director and teacher, working to provide education in technology and the arts to disadvantaged children. Is there anything that Mýa cannot do?
This curly she-wolf serves as an inspiration to Latinas everywhere. After failed attempts with local producers, she decided to do things her own way. The result? International fame, and a title as one of the most successful Latinas in entertainment. Sure, she’s got the hips and the curls, but did you know she is also an involved humanitarian? Shakira is passionate about a child’s right to quality education. At age 18, she created the Barefoot Foundation, a U.S non-profit and non-governmental organization partnered with the Pies Descalzos Foundation in Colombia, her native country. Named after her first album, the Barefoot Foundation not only works to spread awareness, but to provide children who are subjected to violence and poverty with education and nutritious meals. Already they have built six schools and have aided over 6,000 children. On top of that, Shakira is constantly meeting with world leaders to promote universal education, and she still has time to release a new album!
5. Beyonce Knowles
From Destiny’s Child to the unforgettable "Single Ladies," Beyonce has graced the entertainment industry with her various talents. Singing, dancing, and acting her way into the hearts of many, this natural curly is a great model to young ladies who want to make a difference. Beyonce and her fellow band mate Kelly Rowland created the Survivor Foundation in order to help her fellow Houstonites in Texas receive housing while recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The Survivor Foundation works to aid displaced families who have been affected by any disaster, as well as help individuals suffering from AIDS/HIV and homelessness. Beyond providing housing, Beyonce has taken her efforts to Ethiopia, supported the Global Food Banking Network, and the tree planting campaign called “Two Trees for 2000.”
6. Tyra Banks
So maybe her hair has seen many phases, but so has her career. She began to model when she was only eleven years old, and proudly stands as the first African American woman to appear on the cover of GQ and the Victoria’s Secret Catalog. Moving on to television, Tyra has become a major TV personality, from "America’s Next Top Model" to her very own "The Tyra Show," where she rocks her natural curls. Also a published author, Tyra wrote a book titled "Tyra’s Beauty, Inside and Out," a book about helping women discover their natural beauty. She has reached out to women everywhere not only with her book, but with the TZONE Foundation. The foundation empowers young girls by donating money to non-profit organizations that serve girls in low-income communities, and offering programs that help girls learn who they are and what they can do for a successful future. The TZONE Foundation stands for everything Tyra believes in: beauty, confidence, and empowering women.
She’s bold, she’s beautiful, and she’s got the waves. Being internationally recognized, no biography bit is needed; this pop superstar has done it all. She shocked the world with "Like a Prayer," and now she’s changing the world with Raising Malawi. Raising Malawi, an effort to end poverty in southeast Africa, was founded by this pop star only four years ago. Malawi has over 2 million orphans suffering from lack of food, clean water, or proper medical care. Madonna works with Raising Malawi to support community-based organizations in providing these orphans and impoverished families with basic care. Madonna is passionate about ending poverty in Malawi, and helping these children get access to a quality education, healthcare, and nourishing food. Her belief in helping others is perfectly represented by the Ubuntu saying “I am because we are” or “without you there is no me.”
8. Maria Shriver
Success runs in her family, and so do curls. As a member of the Kennedy family, Maria was born with a drive to change the world. A journalist, author, and wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, she has transformed the role of First Lady of California. Shriver is active in a number of causes and movements to better California, especially those focusing on practical ways to end poverty. By launching the WE Connect Program, Shriver has extended her efforts across the nation, reaching out to families with resources and information that could help them live fulfilled lives. Recently, she rocked her natural curls at the Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. One of the largest conferences devoted to women, this three-day long conference has some of the most inspirational speakers, all working to influence women to change the world and make a difference. Check out her curls at the conference!.
9. Angelina Jolie
You can say what you want about Jolie, but her success as an actress and humanitarian is beyond admirable. She’s taken on many roles, been awarded a Golden Globe and an Oscar, and is a loving mother of six! After being in Cambodia while filming "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," she was moved by the amount of poverty and underlying beauty of the native Cambodians. Since then she has visited many countries, and spoken to many heads of state about the plight of refugees. Turning to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Jolie has become a major activist to protect refugees globally. As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, she now works to spread awareness. The Jolie-Pitt Foundation , established in 2006, is constantly donating to humanitarian organizations in an effort to eliminate extreme poverty, protect natural resources, and conserve wildlife. Angelina Jolie’s role as humanitarian is slowly outshining her role as an actress, and one can only praise her for her grace, charity and natural waves.
10. Oprah Winfrey
How could we forget Oprah? She has amazing twists, and she is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and influential women in the world. Oprah came from a troubling background in a small farm town in Mississippi, from which she grew and became stronger. Since then she has reached out to women everywhere through her talk show, and held onto its wholesome, meaningful material despite the trash talk shows that took over the '90s. With the creation of Oprah’s Book Club, Oxygen Media, and her magazine, Oprah has extended her influence even further. Oprah’s Angel Network has raised over $50 million for non-profits, awarded hundreds of grants to women, children and families in need, and continues to fight for a person’s basic rights. That’s not all: Oprah has various charities and foundations, all dedicated to helping others. As an individual, she is always one of the nation’s top philanthropists. What can we say? Oprah has integrity, amazing curls, and a passion for giving.