I was very aware that our narrative as African/African American/Black women in the media was one sided. We're portrayed as aggressive, hypersexualized, poor, and submissive. We're singers and entertainers. Our bodies, our skin tone, our sexuality speaks volumes even before we say a word. And so, Craving Yellow is the pursuit of wholesome womanhood.
Why "Craving Yellow?"Yellow to me is a frame of mind. Yellow is sunshine and love. In December last year, I’d read a book called Still Life with Oysters and Lemon that explored our human obsession with objects. When I put the book down after reading the last page, I couldn't help but notice that I saw yellow everywhere I went, hence the name Craving Yellow. But then Yellow took on a creative energy of its own and it began to represent, in my mind, the power of self-love and self-presentation. Craving Yellow is inspired by the desire to encourage a positive, self-loving and self-caring womanhood for myself and also for my readers. We all know that beyond all the glam, makeup, and fashion is real life - with its joys, ups and downs, treasures, and pains. So on Craving Yellow, I share my life, raw and unedited, such that other women who walk in my shoes can see their lives mirrored and normalized.
Why hair care?
Well because I can testify that for many African/African American/Black women in the diaspora, hair care is a big challenge. I had to figure out my kinks and coils for the first time, away from the comfort of my home country. My life's journey saw me leave Kenya at 17 to do my A-Levels in South Africa, after which I moved to the US and then to the UK to do my studies and back to the US. And now I'm perched in Australia with the love of my life, but that’s a story for another day!
Natural hair care, this very simple yet important aspect of discovering my femininity, led me to introspection. Natural hair care has been a process of understanding myself, and more so in a global environment where my physical features stand out. My natural hair, all 18 inches of kinks and coils, represents the way in which I’ve grown in self-love and in so doing, been able to navigate, explore, challenge what it means to be black and female and African and educated in the West.
On Craving Yellow I write about hair care, my lifestyle in Australia, and my budding love for self-portraiture. You’ll find all my hair tips and tricks on how I grew out my type 4, coily hair to waist-length in four years. I share my hair regimen, product reviews, styling ideas, and hair hacks as I’ve come to discover them over the past four years. There aren’t too many hair bloggers with my texture, so I’ve found it fulfilling to offer readers with a similar curl pattern some useful tips on how to retain more length as their hair grows.
On Craving Yellow, you’ll also find snippets of my adventures and misadventures in Australia. Australia is the fifth country I’ve lived in, so I share what I’m learning, what I’m exploring and what I’m loving about my new home. I also share beauty and lifestyle hacks that I’ve picked along the way.
And lastly, you’ll find my musings on self-portraiture on Craving Yellow. Self-portraiture is a “soul-versation”, to use a term of India.Arie’s, about being an African woman, who born and bred on the continent, has temporarily or permanently moved abroad to pursue her studies at an elite institution. She is a cultured, exposed, sophisticated, enlightened and empowered Afropolitan yet she must prove her self-worth in this differently-demanding environment. I ask how her body is constructed in memory and art history in a race- and gender-charged global environment and how it is to be deconstructed and reassembled? I then argue that photography and self-representation can be redemptive of this blurred and bleak image of African womanhood.
And so I write for me and for us. It’s been a year so far. One complete cycle round the sun of actively creating Craving Yellow. It’s been a wonderful journey of exploration and I’m inspired to keep writing and to keep sharing my life with you, raw and unedited, so that even if in the slightest, your days might be brighter, your existence might be affirmed.
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