When I was offered my first job in Television back in 1984, the news director said the job was mine if I agreed to the following: change my last name, (apparently McCutcheon was too ethnic) have plastic surgery to reduce the size of my lips, and straighten my curly hair. I refused to change my name, but agreed to straighten my hair and learn make up techniques that would mask the size of my lips. I got the job, but let me tell you it played a number on my self confidence and once again proved that what I was, wasn’t enough.
I remember my curly hair always being an issue growing up. In fact, I remember my mom taking me to the hairdresser after kindergarten and getting a “shag” hair cut because it would make my hair easier for her to manage. But it wasn’t. The curls had a mind of their own and I had far more “bad hair days” than I care to ever remember. I also had bumps and breakouts and raw skin along my forehead and the sides of my head because I had to literally “tape” my hair down to my face before I went to bed.
Remember, this was before the invention of portable hair dryers, so that really was my only safe option as a child, though I do remember stories of girls ironing their hair with a real iron on an ironing board. I knew for me, mom would never let that happen and thank goodness I was too scared to try it on my own.
I have many a school picture where I can’t even look at the camera because I hated how my hair looked. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Fast forward to today, 56 years old and I can count on one hand how many times I have straightened my hair.
After I left my TV career, I became what you could say a curly REBEL! I decided to embrace who I am, how I was created and celebrate the curls given to me by the Good Lord above!
I am a full fledged CURLY GIRL and follow something called the Curly Girl Method and could not be more comfortable in my own skin.
I tell you all this because I have discovered a book, I wish was written when I was a small child. A book, I wish my mom would have read, and my news director might have read that tells the tale of a beautiful, smart, polite, wonderful girl with curly hair who embraces it, loves it, has fun with it and builds a life of adventure around it. It’s called “Little Miss Crazy Hair” and it was written by a dear friend of mine, Christopher Garcia-Halenar and his husband Alejandro.
Originally written for their niece as a Christmas gift, they realized how something like this might help young girls build self confidence and decided to revamp and re-release it. I love this book and everything it stands for. It is beautifully illustrated and also offers some valuable life lessons.
If you have a curly girl in your family, big or small, this would make a great gift and would be a great way to start a discussion on self confidence, self worth, and how you want to show up as your best self in life, no matter what your age.
You can order your copy of “Little Miss Crazy Hair” here: https://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Little-Miss-Crazy-Hair-ebook/dp/B07K4W8XZP/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1547213699&sr=8-2&keywords=little+miss+crazy+hair
Sherrie Dunlevy is an author, speaker and Inspirationista. For more information or to hire Sherrie to speak at your conference, workshop or special event contact her at SherrieDunlevy@gmail.com