How many times have you watched after school specials (remember those?), big budget movies, perused through magazine articles where the actors or models looked like you? How many times have you silently compared yourselves to the images in the magazines, coveting and comparing? I know I did. I can still watch some of my favorite movies from childhood and tell you the room, wardrobe and silly pre-teen/teen life I wished for. None of them looked like me. Later I became obsessed with models. I could name you every single one in the “supermodel era.” Few looked like me but oh there was something to be said about the one’s who did! I felt that there may be a ray of light, hope for me. I too could be considered “relevant” and “beautiful.”
About a decade later, natural hair became popular. Hooray! There were finally ads with women of color wearing what appeared to be natural looking styles (my time in the fashion and beauty industries made it clear to me that sometimes they were wigs/weaves and not the model’s actual hair.). While I was glad that there were actual models of color being booked for work with small and major companies, something was still missing. I still didn’t see anyone who looked like me. It took at least 15 years into the new wave of natural hair to finally start seeing representations of darker skinned women with hair so very curly that it doesn’t appear curly at all. That’s me. That’s what I look like.
Cue founding a startup company and the being responsible for every detail. One thing that was very important to me was making sure that the Diversame brand has clear images and representations of women who may not be seen in traditional ad campaigns. It was important to me that when people visit our website or see any of our graphic or printed materials that in some way they see themselves. I coined the “curly continuum” to put into words that every woman with curly textured hair is of equal importance. There is no hierarchy of alphanumeric code. There is no good or bad (bueno/malo). There are no extremes just a vast circular continuum in which all curl types reside, no one getting more attention than the next and most importantly, no curl ignored for not “looking curly enough.”
It is my hope that when you log onto www.diversame.com you can see yourself reflected in some way. Yes, we are starting with a drying tool but our product road-map contains many tools that will help the curly continuum with styling. All points of representation are there for you to see. Each model is a woman just like you! Among them are nurses, teachers, retirees, counselors, accountants, full time moms, students. All different heights, shapes and sizes. Some have hair that is fine, some hair that is is coarse. Some hair that is dense, some hair that is sparse. We also have models from various ethnic backgrounds. that’s how it is in real life and I just wanted a little bit of art imitating life. Representation counts!