I Used To Hate Myself Because of My Hair 

If you were to sit down with 18-year-old me and tell her that her hair was beautiful, she wouldn't believe it. She’d braid her hair and hide her cascading waves from the world, because her mother had told her that “her hair was too thick for it to be beautiful.”

Until I was 18, my mom told me every day “Ang kapal ng buhok mo!” which translates to, “Your hair is so thick!” She’d say it in a way that was filled with hate for my hair, which in turn, made me hate everything about my hair and everything about myself. I had a lot of days where I’d look at myself and wish for anyone to make me have normal hair. As I got older, I knew I’d never have normal hair, and I would have to just make do with the nest upon my head. I hated the way my hair wasn't straight and wasn't blonde. 

Over the summer I had visited my little cousin numerous times, because she always put a smile on my face no matter what. My insecurity with my hair got so bad, I would duct tape my mirrors to prevent myself from looking at how my hair looked. So, it was nice to forget about that, even for a little with my cousin. If there was one thing I could teach her, it  was that she was beautiful. One day, we had finished watching Moana, the Disney movie about the Polynesian princess. It depicted the main character, Moana, with the most beautiful, wavy hair I had seen. The animation had shown every strand of her hair in place, moving with the breeze of the island. It was so beautifully placed upon the main character’s shoulders. As we finished, my little cousin had went up to me and said, “Ate, Ate!” (older sister) “You hair just like Moana, so beautiful!!” 

In her eyes, I was like her. I was a beautiful, wonderful brown princess with hair that flowed down my shoulders like a waterfall from the tallest point of the world. I had let down my braid that day, and I never hid my waves from the world. I took the duct tape down from my mirrors and saw a version of myself that embraced not only my beauty within my hair, but my beauty within myself.