If you haven’t seen the video of Atlanta-based hairstylist Shabria aka Lil Wave Daddy encouraging a little Black girl named Ariyonna to love her beauty after the girl calls herself ugly, then you’ve must have been under a rock this weekend.
In the video, Ariyonna catches a glimpse of herself in an Instagram Live feed and nonchalantly says, “I’m ugly,” as Shabria is twisting her locs. Shabria then takes the 4-year-old into her arms, showers her with love and reminds her of all the reasons that she is pretty while Ariyonna cries. It’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking.
After Black Twitter got ahold of the video on Friday, it went viral within hours, sparking an outpouring of love for both queens.
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While the video initially brought many to tears, the response that followed was truly awe-inspiring. By Sunday (which was International Women’s Day), celebrities had gotten wind of Shabria’s video and proceeded to repost it to their social media pages with kind words for her. They also reinforced the need to tell our little girls that they are beautiful to fight years of colorism and oppression that tries to tell them otherwise.
Shabria and Ariyonna’s story has made it to local radio, and has even made it to the news, and rightfully so. This is a video that everyone should see—Black, White and otherwise. Everyone needs to understand that our little girls are precious, no matter what they’ve been told.
The video serves as a reminder for us older sisters that there are many Ariyonna’s out there who need those affirmations. It’s also for all the little Black girls out there who think they are ugly, who need to hear Shabria’s words if they don’t have someone in their lives to say them.
By the end of the weekend, little Ariyonna was singing a different tune of “I’m Black and I’m beautiful.” Now that’s a melody we can get behind.