I’d been following @frogirlginny and @laurenlewiss_ on Instagram for some time and had witnessed their #gowiththefro tour in European countries. Like so many non-local curly brands (or ‘rock star-like’ events) I couldn’t help but watch with envy as curly girls got to meet and interact with these inspiringly beautiful, natural ladies. I had ‘brand envy’ because who, ever, makes the time to come to South Africa, let alone to Cape Town? I felt that I was destined to live in my coastal house, living my natural dreams, alone! And then they released their Cape Town tour date. Boy, am I happy that I, and other local curly girls, commented when they asked for cities to visit!
June the 3rd was fast approaching and I had to give myself a pep talk. ‘Act cool and keep calm when you meet them,’ had become my mantra, one that didn’t matter in the slightest when they yelled with excitement and hugged me as I entered the room! Let’s face it, so many of us had admired people online and may have been really disappointed when they barely acknowledged us in real-life.
These girls were so different!
They were, and are continuing to be, as friendly as they had seemed and their interaction with all the ladies made them more than approachable! Like I mentioned on my Instagram page, meeting Nia was my adult equivalent to my parents taking me to the Waterfront to watch Michael Jackson shop; and Lauren’s embrace was one of universal sisterhood! I will cherish this experience, always.
A while back, I posted about the negative effect that social media can have on girls and their idea of beauty. It’s great to be able to tell the other side of the story, to tell a part of my story that seemed to be true for so many girls in the room on Saturday: Cape Town is yet to embrace natural hair and beauty in its entirety. Watching Nia, Lauren and girls alike embrace their natural beauty has always encouraged me to see my natural journey through. Even though my hair looks nothing like theirs, the possibility of it being authentically my own drove me to my big chop, and their celebration of natural hair has kept me motivated; now, I celebrate being different.
Apart from meeting the girls, it was really lovely to rub shoulders with some of Cape Town’s natural and curly girls/influencers. Many of us expressed that we often feel alone on our journey and, for some, that it is a fight to be who they are, naturally. It was encouraging to meet them. We were, merely, a representative of many other beauties in our wonderful city.
I’m no longer star struck, rather, I’m thrilled to have bought the ticket, to have had Nia tell me that my baby fro takes her back to when her hair was cut like mine. I’m inspired by their work ethic and by their light (and no, not by the supposed ‘sweat glow’ that Lauren mentioned, but by their inner beauty that shines through).
More than anything, I’m reminded that living your dream is the key to a happy life; that you have to chase it in order for it to become a reality.
Ps. What a cherry on the cake to have met @goldennn_xo as well!