HASHTAG CURLFEST

#Curlfest.

Sounds pretty strange, right? However, to a large group of people, in particular, women from various countries around the world, it makes perfect sense and sounds pretty amazing.  And it was. Amazing.

It was awesome meeting bloggers and influencers in person that you see online, but meeting beauties from around the world like Bruna Vieira, a Curly Beauty and Business Woman who traveled from Brazil to attend shocked me.  How serious is the bond of curly women?  Super serious!   I briefly chatted with my Instagram Bae, emerging Supermodel Khoudia Diop, a Senegalese Beauty with the brightest smile and personality and realized that I love #Curlfest!  Then we saw OwnbyFemme! Curl Vibes!


My guess is that every curly person who attended #Curlfest has a “Curly Struggle” story.

Mine is as follows:

I went through a life-changing breakup and made the mistake of ending a 3-year streak of natural hair care.  The break-up was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made, but that relaxer and big chop… not so much.  Since then, I found my niche of personal style in the natural hair world and I am marching forward with a band of natural sisters, including my besties, one who is a certified Natural Hair Advocate, and Influencer.

Koku Gonza is “The Plug”.

Public Service Announcement: If your hair texture is in the range of 4, go follow her today.  Get your curl life together.  You’re welcome.

kokugonza for mydna curls
Courtesy of Koku Gonza on Instagram

As a 4C curl pattern lady with roots from Sierra Leone, West Africa, I can indulge in a variety of hairstyles, and I prefer extensions.  My style of choice is Big. Hair. Don’t. Care. Crotchet.   However, have you ever walked into a boardroom in Corporate White America Straight Hair America with a hairstyle like mine and received this welcome?

the scary boardroom
The Scary Boardroom Courtesy of The Googles

Better yet, are you guilty of staring at me when I walked into Corporate White America Straight Hair America boardroom to do my job? Because my hair style is bigger and better than yours?

Imagine. After the longest, most awkward silence, and/or annoying questions about my hair, I am required to smile and carry on, instead of going the fuck off, throwing a chair in the air, and walking out and sucking my teeth at The Scary Boardroom.

My. God.

Why is #Curlfest so important?  It is a safe haven for Curly Folks.

#Curlfest is a festival that I needed a decade ago.  Thanks to The Curly Girl Collective and their corporate partners, it’s a part of my new reality and a breath of fresh air.

~I AM GAYIMA~

I am Gayima at #curlfest
Big. Hair. Don’t. Care. Crotchet.   Courtesy of Dior Davis Photography

2017 was #Curlfest’s fourth year and it was held at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Curlfest 2017 at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Curlfest 2017     Photography by Dior Davis

Highlights from my #Curlfest 2017 experience:

  • A lot of beautiful curly-haired people dressed stylishly.  Mostly women. Some children. A few fine as wine Gentlemen. (ijs)
  • Apparel & Accessories Vendors | Food Vendors | Hair & Beauty Vendors (offering deals!)
  • An energetic host and crowd that can dance well to the beat of the music played… and great DJs to keep everyone entertained
  • The selfie culture in full effect (And why not? It was great natural lighting all day.)
  • Saw/Met/Listened to a down-to-earth Icon that I grew up admiring.   He handed me a “She’s Gotta Have It” Fan (Currently nailed to my wall. True. Story. Sis.)
Photo Jul 16, 5 56 59 AM
Film Director Spike Lee at Curlfest 2017 and I AM GAYIMA

If you love to be stopped for photo ops, have an appreciation for curls and the diverse beauty associated with curly folks, and enjoy festive music, #Curlfest is the festival for you. Bring your squad. Be beautiful. Be curly. Be unapologetic.


Koku Gonza. Vicrina En Vogue. I Am Gayima. Afua Boni.

 

IMG_1636
Squad. #CURLFEST Courtesy of Dior Davis Photography

 

Did you attend #Curlfest too?  What did you think?  Leave a question or comment below.

~I AM GAYIMA~

 

 

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