Fabulous Fro Friday is the day on AfroTina that we honor a beautiful woman. A fabulous fro woman represents a woman who is at peace with her physical beauty despite cultural or social norms. Personally, natural hair and dark skin have been a struggle for me but your challenge may be different. Fabulous Fro Friday is to showcase that woman who is happy and confident in her own skin.
AfroTina is ecstatic to introduce you to a confident young woman, Sierra Carter. She is beautiful from the inside out and has taken the time to share her thoughts with us.
AT: Hi, tell us a little about yourself? What makes you tick?
SC: Hello! I’m a 22 year old recent college graduate from UNC Chapel Hill and upcoming PhD student in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia. I just moved to Athens, GA this summer from Virginia and I’m looking forward to what the future may bring. I love food, family, and friends and hopefully not in that order...haha. In regards to research and life what really makes me tick is helping to reduce racial health disparities. I hope to pursue research that will help to shed light on the social issues facing ethnically diverse populations as well as provide evidence-based ways of preventing further suffering within vulnerable individuals and communities.
AT: How would you describe pure beauty?
SC: For me, I think pure beauty all revolves around comfort. I always find it strikingly beautiful when people have an understanding of themselves and an ability to feel comfortable in his or her own skin. No matter the body type, skin tone, or hair texture, the ability to take responsibility and understand one’s own self exudes beauty.
AT: How has that definition of pure beauty true in your life?
SC: My definition for pure beauty is something I am still working towards. Even though I may not always consciously think I am conveying pure beauty I have found one thing to be true. Hair is a statement. Being natural has almost forced me in a way to notice my insecurities and find my own comfort and sense of identity. And void of societal pressures in my transition to being natural has allowed me to see how I am bringing my own perspective to the world’s visual reality of truth.
AT: What inspires your style?
SC: Hmm.. I would definitely say I’m inspired by others. Especially people I admire. It’s so great to find people that have a style similar to your own yet immensely different at the same time. Noticing pieces and ideas from others here and there inspires my style. I also think I have a personal style which is becoming more and more carefree and based on ease and comfort these days.
AT: What are your most valuable qualities?
SC: People have told me that I am becoming more open to different viewpoints. Even though I do have a stronghold of beliefs and values, I think having and aspiring to be open to others opinions is personally, very valuable to me. Last week someone anonymously wrote in my ‘honesty box’ on Facebook (Yes I thought no one used this anymore!) and described me as “humble and quiet.” Although I have no idea how much this person actually knows me, they are qualities that I value.
AT: What are your favorite hair products?
SC: I’m still in search of favorite hair products, but right now I really like Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner. It’s very easy on the wallet compared to other conditioners, and it really helps my hair with detangling and keeping it moisturized. I also like DevaCurl Set It Free (moisture lock) leave-in conditioner. I’ve only used this product for about a month now, but overall I like it. I’m still looking for the “best” leave-in conditioner though. It’s always trial and error with me, and I have definitely found that what may work for one person may not work for you.
AT: What is your favorite hairstyle?
SC: Well the only style I know how to do well is the two-strand twists and then the twist out style. I usually only try to twist my hair once a week, leaving in the twists for about 3 days and wearing the twist out style for the rest of the week. Now that my hair is starting to grow more I’m looking for a more time-efficient style. There are a lot of internet sites/blogs that have some great styles to try and I love tutorials because I wouldn’t characterize myself as a good hairstylist.
AT: What movie is guaranteed to make you laugh?
SC: The Hangover
AT: What do you love about wearing your hair natural? Greatest challenge?
SC: I love the uniqueness of being natural. I had relatively long hair before I went natural in November 2008, and although I wouldn’t say it was something I used to hide behind, it was a way to “fit in.” Now I really enjoy not only my hair’s versatility but the distinctiveness it brings when you’re among a crowd. Even among other women who are natural, it is amazing how many different styles and textures you can see and I love it! The greatest challenge is probably maintenance. But in comparison to having permed hair in the past, I love not having to worry about planning my hair around exercise and weather.
AT: How does the media influence your self-image?
SC: All the time. The absence and/or lack of representation can always make you question why you are not going along with what the media endorses. I will say that after being natural I have found a lot of encouraging and supportive websites/blogs (like this one!) that show that you are not alone in your journey. The media can both intentionally and unintentionally persuade one to conform to assumptions and cause you to question why you went natural in the first place. In my observation the media's ideal of beauty (clothes, weight, hair, etc.) can yield to a constant rollercoaster ride of thoughts. I am both glad and sad to know that I’m not in this battle alone.
AT: What is your victory statement, chant or montra: what allows you to rise above inundation of negativity, negative self-talk. What keeps your beauty pure on the inside?
SC: Self awareness not self debasement. You can take many paths to get to the same place of understanding. Find a path and enjoy your natural journey.
Thank you very much for your time Sierra. You are an extraordinary example of pure confident beauty.