I grew up in a household with four amazing black women - my mum and three sisters. As a young, eager-eyed girl, I watched how they took care of their skin, hair, and appearance with visits to inexpensive salons, hand-sewn dresses, and the extra attention to beauty when we had special occasions. Through the eyes of my 13-year old teenage self, beauty meant wearing big loops, lots of lipgloss, and my hair styled differently every two weeks.
The term “self-care” wasn’t explicitly mentioned to me as a child. As a family, we de-stressed by watching TV shows together and going on outdoor adventures. Growing up in Nigeria, I equated self-care with the physical part of my body, like maintaining hygiene.
As a young adult, my perceptions of beauty and self-care are different and nuanced. Here are three main redefining realities that have guided my journey of self-care and beauty as a black woman.
Self-care involves body and mind: I love that mental health is now being talked about and prioritized in our world. Beyond my body, I have learned to declutter my mind and acknowledge when I don’t feel good emotionally. I am also intentional about cleansing my living space with fresh scents and vibrant colors.