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  • Writer's pictureJackie Almeida

Human Power

Our limits can never be higher than our level of self-acceptance.

Whether you are a man or a woman, as humans we are now numb whenever we see several celebrities, politicians and leaders cheering/talking about "black power". That discriminated ethnic group that still has to fight to this day against racism, waiting in place to be recognized for their talents and not be judged by the color of their skin.

Let me first say that it is not that their message is not important, It is that I am part of a generation where the majority is tired and battered with the continued struggle or more of the same talk and and getting few results. Many have lost hope of gaining a better world. And some have already ceased to believe that if we unite we can make a difference. But the real change begins within each of us. Although our generation is important, I now think that we should take care of the next generation, our children. Now, whether you have children of your own or not, being part of this society they are our obligation. Remembering that what affects one ends up affecting everyone. The ego and fear separate us, but eliminating it we are all one. Be aware that we are always the prototype or inspiration to others in everything we do, good or bad. And if so, choose to be a good model. Children see, children do.

I believe that education is the most appropriate source  for transformation. I'm not talking about traditional education that teaches the same lesson to us all, or that education that instead separates us from our true essence by placing limits, nurturing our fears and caging in this current reality that be yourself, to value your unique characteristics, self acceptance, and self love is considered a failure or unacceptable. They instruct us that we should be like the others. Education, as my grandmother always said - comes from cradle, from our house, our surroundings. That's where our responsibility to guide these children into a better world where "being yourself" is the key to avoiding any future problem. If this is not the case, then I cannot think that our society has a chance to become better, because its people are not accepted, generating a wave of frustration that amplifies and infects everyone.

As a children we are pure, we have no malice or discrimination, we see everyone with the same eyes, we accept everyone as our fellow human being, all the features, skin color, hair type. Ah!...speaking about the hair...

Working as a model which most requires us is versatility. It's very normal to wear different makeup,  clothing styles for various productions and of course multiple hairstyles. Once I was doing a job for the African continent and had to straighten my hair (not definitive) for a campaign. And I was thinking about it. Africa! I really have to straighten my hair? Why? They told me that there are not many women wearing "Afro" hair like how I normally wear.

When I was a child I remember that my family always used products to smooth my hair. I still remember the awful smell of those creams that only damaged my hair. They said that my hair was bad, I should remove the volume because otherwise I would not be well seen. At school the boys would always seem to go after the girls with straight hair. And the ones who had  hair like me were subject to bullying. Throughout my teenage years I learned from my family and my surroundings I could not use my natural hair because otherwise I would not be accepted. This lasted until I was 16 years old when I went to live alone and decided not to use any of these products because I just liked my natural hair. Although you see some of my photos with straight  hair due to my work, I personally love my hair as it is. But how many girls have their identity blocked around the world? Either by family or society? Yes, I consider our hair an identity and our community through the media and the entire entertainment industry pass on the image that black women with straight hair...Natural?

If we have to teach a child that the hair itself is not in accordance with the standards of society, what are we to expect from these kids as an adult? Where is the self-love and acceptance that usually guide us to a life of personal success? Or the realization that we are all different, and that beauty comes from that?

In my country, Brazil, I still feel the proof of that today. When I'm there and walk through the streets, I always listen to comments from adults referring to my hair as "witch's hair," "broom" etc ...

Then I'm seeing all these famous divas worldwide as Beyonce, Rihanna, Ophra Winfrey, also Michelle Obama. Speaking of what being black is  - the  black power. Speak against racism then I look at the head of them  and I see all this fake hair, sometimes even wig. And I'm curious. They have the power to influence millions of children around the world. Why not begin with the acceptance itself? I'm surprised by the Malcom X also strocked  the hair. Stop talking of racism a little and talk of self-acceptance, self esteem, racism often comes from the black ethnicity  themselves. They considered inferior because they do not accept itself. I am not condemning anyone who wants to use straight hair, this is not my point, as  adults you should  choose the hairstyle you want to use, we are free. But our children have no option when the family chooses what kind of hair they should use, and education you give to your children early in life is what will form their personality. It is enough when they turn on the TV and find all these famous and successful women  not wearing their natural hair, is an imposing of this  ridiculous society we live in. It is up to you parents, grandparents, family in general, all of us to guide and teach that whatever the media propagates the most important is to be yourself, and love every detail of your body. We are all teachers when dealing with children.

Speaking of black power and bla bla bla is easy, but do not forget to talk about the human power, this power that we have to be able to create whatever we want and  destroy any barriers. Every addition to true knowledge is a supplement to the power of our race, only one: Human. That's what we are. Each of us have our special features and that makes us unique. Self acceptance is to be free. You love yourself exactly as you are. You are beautiful and special, think about the fact that in the entire world there is no one like you.

When you realize that everything that happens in your life depends on you, what you are  reflecting to the world, you may begin to live differently. And so we will build a better society, if you stop using products to straighten hair, they will cease to exist. And everyone goes back to natural. The world will not accept you if you do not accept.

Some people work very hard to be able to impress others and in this way end up losing their own identity. To be beautiful you have to be as it is does not have to want to be accepted by others just for yourself.

Jackie 💖

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