Just when we thought Dove’s Love Your Curls campaign couldn’t get any better, the beauty brand partnered with best-selling author, Taiye Selasi (author of Ghana Must Go) to create a digital book that further promotes beautiful curls. The novel compiles the voices of the thousands of women and girls who sent in poems, stories, photos and messages about their personal curl journeys following the campaign. Here, Selasi explains what she’s learned about embracing her curls. Be sure to download your customized Love Your Curls book today at dove.us/loveyourcurls.
ESSENCE: What does launching ‘Love Your Curls’ mean to you?
Taiye Selasi: When Dove Hair asked me to be a part of the Love Your Curls mission by turning the thousands of real women’s stories, photos and messages that poured in as a result of the campaign into a book of poems, I was honored. It’s been an absolute pleasure to partner with Dove Hair to inspire future generations of curly girls.
ESSENCE: What have you learned about yourself while embracing your curls?
Taiye Selasi: It’s funny, when I went off to college, the natural hair renaissance in the States was just getting underway. In those years I learned to love, and above all, to care for my Afro. But it’s an ongoing journey. When I began writing this book of poems, I had occasion to revisit my relationship with my hair. Inspired by the real women who submitted their stories to Dove Hair, I decided to try something new. I cut my hair and began exploring new ways to wear my natural curls. In writing these poems, I was reminded not only that curly hair is beautiful—but, very poignantly, that beauty comes from within.
ESSENCE: Why is the book relevant now more than ever before?
Taiye Selasi: It is great to see a surge of celebrities and influencers embracing the curly hair look recently, but when more than half of women (54%) say they would rather swap their naturally curly hair for something more “manageable,” we still have a long way to go in helping women see the beauty in the hair they’ve been given. It was an honor to bring their stories to life through poetry, and it is my hope that the Love Your Curls book will continue to inspire and empower future generations to always see the beauty in their curls and in themselves.
ESSENCE: Which are your top three stories from the book? Why?
Taiye Selasi: I love the poem “A Dance,” inspired by the simple experience of walking on a windy day. We curly-haired women can often feel at war with the elements (humidity especially!); it was delightful to think instead about Mother Nature’s special affection for curls. I also love the customizable poem, which I wrote my friends’ curly-haired daughters in mind. When I was young I loved reading, but so few books had characters who looked like me or had names like mine. The idea of hearing a poem with my own name would have thrilled me, and it’s an honor to be able to pass that joy on. “Dear Daughter,” like so many poems, was based on a real woman’s testimonial, submitted online. I love a multi-generational family beauty story (I write family sagas after all) and this woman’s celebration of her family’s curly lineage touched me deeply.