If I had to describe myself in one sentence, I would say “I’m a black twenty something woman on a journey of finally figuring herself out – in every aspect, in a small society that has constantly made me feel like I should be anyone but myself.”Angelika @kypoundcake
I first met Angelika when I was a tiny tot at Savannah Primary School, some 22 years ago. Towards middle school, I can recall conversations about how excited we were for our mothers to relax our hair, especially after having the coils that sat on the back of our necks (known to Caymanians as “peppa seed”) mocked by one of the girls lucky enough to have a mom who believed in the magic of Just for Me.
Today, Angelika is relaxer-free and leading a crusade for curl education, through her YouTube channel and social media platforms. We arranged to meet up to talk about her evolution but thanks to my car giving up on me, I instead had one of the most enlightening WhatsApp conversations I’d ever had.
I didn’t really even start this whole YouTube journey with the intentions of being an ‘influencer’. I had been thinking of starting my channel in hopes that I could make a difference in our small beauty community. I think it’s important that little girls and women can relate to someone who actually looks like them and share the same frustrations. I remember growing up I was never proud of my hair, and I was made to feel as though I was less beautiful because of it. I remember almost all the black girls in my schools had relaxed hair, some even from primary school, and I always thought ‘Damn, why can’t my mother just relax my hair already’.
I felt a desperate need to fit in and felt very insecure about my hair and this increased as I got older and went to high school. That’s when it really got me, being made fun of because my hair was still natural to the point of not even wanting to go to school because of it. When my mother finally decided to relax my hair, I was GRATEFUL. Walking into school and feeling the breeze on my scalp and feeling like I could finally fit in was all I had ever wanted.
It was great for a while until my little sister big chopped (twice) and I saw the beauty of her hair and decided to go natural as well. Since then, I had been getting all kinds of questions about products I used and how I style my hair so I decided to start this channel so I can answer everyone’s questions. I love make up and skincare as well and will be doing videos on those soon but natural hair is where my heart is right now. It’s taken so long for most of us to love ourselves – hair included, and I just want to do my part to keep that going.
At this point in the conversation, I was shook at how much I related to Angelika’s story, and I was curious as to how she made the transition not just from relaxed to natural hair, but from a bullied girl to a confident woman. Since I personally struggle with self-confidence, I had to ask how she cracked the code to be so unapologetic about being herself.
This one made me chuckle because it was something I had to learn. I haven’t always been [confident] but I feel like as I got older I realized I didn’t need to fit in with society’s ridiculous definition of beauty. Once I stopped caring about what people think of me and started being okay with everything about myself as in looking in the mirror and loving exactly what I see imperfections and all – that’s when I truly gained my confidence.
Maintaining that positive self-image is a whole other story because I don’t look or feel my best everyday but being able to say “damn today, is not my day” and still actively work towards improving myself daily is essential.