I am excited and inspired to see the increased dialogue in videos, community activities and books on young girls learning to be more positive about how they view their Black hair texture. One comic book in particular that resonated with me is called “The Adventures of Moxie Girl.”
With the help of her innovative mother, a seven-year-old girl created a character with magical super powers in her hair. Love the concept!
Unfortunately, Natalie McGriff, like many young Black girls, form self-esteem issues early about their hair. And often that insecurity is unintentionally perpetuated by mothers or their circle of women role models.
In Natalie’s curiosity with her hair and comparison with other girls, she began to internalize those feelings on being different, which was showing up in her lack of confidence and starting to be withdrawn in social settings. Her mother, Angie Nixon, from Jacksonville, Florida took action and created a Facebook page called “Natalie is Beautiful,” which received many likes.
She also worked with her daughter to create the comic book. In the comic book, Moxie Girl does not like her hair, but one day she finds a magical shampoo that gives her afro puffs super powers. Moxie Girl has the ability to take off her afro puffs and throw them at the monsters and like a boomerang they always come back to her. With the help of her afro puffs, she defeats the monsters, and Moxie Girl saves the Jacksonville public library from the evil, book-eating monsters.
Due to the positive outpouring of comments from the community on how this comic inspired other young girls, “The Adventures of Moxie Girl” was placed in a contest with over 500 other entries at their annual festival. With the help of the crowdfunding site called One Spark, Natalie was able to enter and ended up receiving $16,424 towards a publication fund.
This family’s storybook has uplifted Natalie along with other young girls of color who may be suffering from low self-esteem. I am reminded of a quote I heard from Maya Angelou stating, “Make your mess your message.” I’d love to see more youth transform what they see as flaws in their lives into super powers to create positive images or changes in how they see themselves.
Based off BuzzFeed News, “[Natalie’s mom] said Moxie Girl not only made McGriff “realize how powerful and awesome her hair is,” but she started loving to read. “I told her if you want to make a really good book, you have to read more books and learn different words.” That is a powerful outcome.
The comic book is expected to be published in June 2015. The action of one can truly change the lives of many. Black hair does matter because it is filled with so many messages.
I believe when you don’t respect the hair it has the power to influence how we look at others as well as ourselves. Moxie Girl is watching you! Stay kinky and curly and know our unique texture is different, yet beautiful.
Keep in mind that being pro-natural does not mean you are anti-relaxer. I like mine Fro Real No Lye!
Natural hair coach and enthusiast Kelley Eubanks welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.