There’s something magical about women (and men) working to do better job of uplifting our young Black girls. When it comes to beauty, the challenge is real. From lack of representation to the degradation of Black female bodies, there’s no time like the present to firmly stand up for our girls. And author Sulma V. Arzu-Brown is doing that with her new children’s book, Bad Hair Does Not Exist.
The book was written to help little girls of Black, Afro-Latina and African descent find empowering ways to describe their various hair textures that may not be representative of what society has deemed “good hair”.
Arzu-Brown decided it was time to write this book after her three-year old daughter’s babysitter commented on her hair, announcing she had “pelo malo”. That is the Spanish term for “bad hair”. Oh, No ma’am. Talk about a muy malo move, that could’ve have ended with that babysitter on a gurney. But instead of laying hands on the out-of-line babysitter (who probably didn’t know any better), the Honduras-native decided to get empowered, and pen a book that would help Black and brown girls embrace their hair in all of its natural glory.
"The book is a tool of cultural solidarity and a tool of empowerment for all of our little girls," said Arzu-Brown whose daughters are now 4 and 11, in a recent interview with NBC News. "The term 'Bad hair' or 'Pelo Malo' is divisive to both community and family, and can contribute to low self-esteem."
Granted the embrace and acceptance of natural hair has heightened in recent years, but this book is an integral tool of empowerment for “all little girls who are black, afro-descendent, afro-Latinas, and Garifuna.”
We know all too well how the confidence of Black women is closely tied to our beauty and hair. It has been that way since the beginning of time. It’s understood that the natural hair movement took off and inspired Black women to own their coils, kinks and curls. However, throughout the growth of the movement, also we’ve witnessed first-hand preference from major brands portraying more women with natural, looser curls that women with kinks and tight coils. Go figure.
Yet, the confidence we wish to build within our community must begin with the babies. And that’s why Arzu-Brown’s book is so special, and so needed. If you can instill confidence in little girls while they’re extremely young and impressionable, you’ve struck gold.
Bad Hair Does Not Exist is available on Amazon.com.