I just got back from The Women’s Conference in Long Beach, California. This is the amazing conference organized by Maria Shriver as part of her job as First Lady of California. It was amazing, inspiring and empowering. I can’t even put it into words. But there was something that captured my attention along with wonderful speakers like Michelle Obama, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Laura Bush, Oprah, Dr. Susan Love and more. It was Maria Shriver’s hair!

Maria Shriver

Naturally curly, gorgeous hair. I’ve only seen photos of Maria over the years and in every one her hair is stick straight (as it is on the conference web site) or has the kind of curls that are obtained by straightening the hair and then curling it. So when I saw her at The Women’s Conference, I was blown away by her naturally curly, long beautiful hair. It was light and free looking with curls of different shapes and sizes and I swear she looked ten years younger – at least ten years!

Over the two days, I heard Maria speak a handful of times and though her words were powerful and moving, I often found myself thinking about her hair. (And I wasn’t the only one; several friends and women at the conference said the same thing.) I know this sounds superficial, but it goes beyond the surface. One of her best speeches was about how after seven years she’s grown into her role as First Lady (one she apparently wasn’t excited about when her husband became governor). She talked about how she now feels comfortable in her skin and like she’s grown into herself. Is it a coincidence that she’s gotten to that place and is now wearing her hair naturally curly? I think not. I think going curly is part of accepting who you are and growing into the real you.

When I interviewed women for the new edition "Curly Girl," most of them told me that they felt more like themselves once they tossed their flat irons and blow dryers and embraced their natural hair texture. I honestly had no clue what they meant. That was until a few months ago when my hair became more curly than straight. It’s not there yet, but I agree I feel more like myself and more comfortable with myself. Maria Shriver talked about not knowing what she’d do after her role as First Lady ends in January and admitted that she was afraid of this unknown. How about being an ambassador for naturally curly girls?