Having curly hair isn’t always an easy venture, in fact, quite rarely is it. For many of us, the difficulties begin at a young age, which is why we were so excited to report a curly heroine from Pixar’s “Brave” that would finally show young girls that curls are beautiful, too. However, despite the confidence #teamnatural has in changing the conversation and undertaking a textured revolution, the road here has indeed been a difficult one for us all.
Perhaps the road has been even more so difficult for Natalie Harvey, 35, a UK citizen who resembled “Orphan Annie” growing up.
“As soon as I entered infant school the taunts started," Harvey told the Daily Mail "I would be spat at and called named. The kids were so cruel, they would call me Annie and Yoda and racist remarks because they had never seen an afro like mine on a white person. People said my mum must have had an affair because both she and my dad have straight hair.”
Like many of us, Harvey responded to the teasing by straightening and even dying her red hair. According to her, the bullying finally came to a close in college when she perfected her two-hour daily routine of straightening her curls.
Sounds to us like the average story of a curly girl shut out and pushed down from what society deems as “beautiful,” and you might be saying to yourself, “Yes, but that was 30 years ago. Certainly things have changed.” Well, you’d be wrong.
Recently, a photo of a 5-year-old Harvey surfaced on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, which is when the cyber-bullying began. The messages even got so bad that Harvey called the police.
According to the Daily Mail, one tweet read: “I can’t wait to pull off your wig and reveal your ginger afro hair to everyone.”
Another added: "wait until everyone sees your f****d up afro hair!"
For Harvey, the horrors of elementary were coming back to haunt her, and this time, she couldn’t even see or face up to her tormentors.
“At least at school I could turn round and see who was insulting me, but this is so faceless. The bullies are able to hide behind their keyboards,” she said. "I just couldn’t believe that I was getting bullied at the age of 35 through Twitter, from people on fake accounts."
According to Harvey, the stress from the messages has caused her to lose nearly 15 pounds.
"It was so personal and nasty and targeted directly at something that has affected me throughout my life. Every time I meet someone from school they say, ‘Oh didn’t you have such funny hair at school?’”
As #teamnatural, what advice do you have for Mrs. Harvey, and for all curly women who have yet to embrace their natural hair due to torment?