Girls Gone Natural! A Definitive Look at Curly Girl Collective

Who would have ever thought a daily email conversation ignited by hair could turn into an empowering movement? Curly Girl Collective (CGC) is a positive result of girlfriends chit chatting. I listened intently as Julienne Brown, Director of Marketing and Promotions for CGC shared a closer look into the world of Curly Girls……

With an executive board of eight, CGC originated from a group of friends who spoke via email everyday all in reference to natural hair. All of the participants had just transitioned or had been maintaining natural hair and needed the support of each other. ‘What should I do with my hair? Why is my texture like this? What styles should I wear?’ were all questions that were virtually present amongst the group. All professionally based out of New York, the ladies decided to take their email exchange to a larger platform to be able to connect with girls all around the world.

“Friends of friends,” said Brown. Hence the birth of Curly Girl Collective.

Launching officially in 2011, CGC is marking their territory. Technically there are eight, but CGC’s perception is that of everyone. Natural or unnatural, CGC provides an open network and forum for the knowledgeable and inquisitive. With friends worldwide, the word embrace is prevalent. For years, a large percentage of women have shied away from the idea of natural hair. To date, society has still not fully embraced natural black hair. The media has worked its hands into shaping what they believe beautiful is. CGC plans to dispel that stigma. Celebration of natural hair is at the forefront.

“For years, women have always had to manipulate their hair by getting perms, texturizers, etc. They didn’t want to embrace it. As we get older we learn that our hair is beautiful, and it’s important to spread that energy to other people,” said Brown.

Besides hair, individuality, versatility, love, and self-actualization are topics on CGC’s discussion list. With no shade being thrown at relaxed haired women, CGC wants to globally acknowledge and appreciate all different kinds of women, naturally. A common misconception among African American women is that natural hair is not manageable, thus the need for relaxers. In the last ten years, the epidemic of natural hair has skyrocketed, some attribute this to environment. Brown, a free-spirited Brooklyn resident, believes we get our standard of beauty from the media, but she also believes that once you are introduced to certain settings, your opinion can change.

“I remember being on campus at Howard University, and watching all the girls transition to natural hair. I think once it’s embraced, it’s a trend,” Brown reminisced.

Ultimately, through broadcast platforms, print publications, and large scale website partnerships, CGC plans to make you aware of just who they are. With the various ethnicities, complexions, and hair textures of the CGC network, you will find yourself relating to at least one of them, and that is the intent.

“With constant promotion over time, people will assimilate,” assured Brown.

CGC is excited at the unlimited potential list of sponsors worldwide. Essence and Carol’s Daughter are two organizations on their wish list to work with. The audience and following of African American women is enticing. With friends in London, Ghana, and DC, CGC is eager to provide their services, globally.

“We would love to work with a broadcast audience like BET or Centric. We would like to work with Willow Smith also because she would be relateable and empowering to kids based on her confidence,” said Brown anxiously.

While there are many benefits of having natural hair in comparison to well-conditioned relaxed hair, here’s Brown’s perspective:

“For me my hair grows faster. It breaks off a lot less. Perms thin out my hair. Now it’s thicker, it’s inexpensive, and it’s manageable at home. I have the versatility to wear it straight or curly, always changing up my look,” said Brown.

Check out the video below for a sneak peek of their 1st event in May 2011 that housed over 200 guests:

CGC is currently working on a September/October event targeting younger girls. The event will showcase what natural hair looks like and allow the youth to embrace it.

“See beauty within yourself and embrace it, for your children,” said Brown.

While Brown confesses to natural hair being 200 times harder to take care of than permed hair, she admits she is at peace with her hair.

“It’s harder to take care of but its very healthy. It’s definitely a lifestyle change but it’s more empowering,” Brown admitted.

Photo Credit:Ajamu Myrie
—— By: JournalisticChic


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