On Leaving InstaGram’s #TeamNatural Scene

“My 18 year old brother convinced me to get an InstaGram account a few years back, and it did not take me too long to get hooked. I could show off the fierce henna tattoo my coworker hand-drew and get tips on style & natural hair care. At first, it was a source of inspiration and excitement. I started finding and following my favorite naturalistas, carefully emulating their style essentials. I felt empowered, inspired, and sassy! Yet, after a month or so of getting my daily dose of IG natural styles, I realized that I was changing. I found myself constantly comparing my hair texture to the women on the screen, and this was something that I had never done before. (Yes, I do mean never). I’d started hashtagging my new hair styles with rigor, hoping someone would acknowledge the hours I’d spent detangling, combing, co-washing, and putting just about everything in my refrigerator and cabinets in my head as “a treatment”…. Finally, I had to say ‘Enough.’

Hear how I went from a case of curl envy to internal validation at Coloures, by ForHarriet.com!


    1. Oh my goodness! It’s so crazy! I think it is because we do have access to the glossy, filtered photos but not to the process that it took to GET there (nor should we, I think). But if you forget that or lose perspective it can certainly be an alluring trap to compare. Learning to free myself from unhealthy comparison is a lesson that I wish to communicate here through a narrative format. I think a lot of people were expecting me to be a bit more “preachy” about not comparing yourself, but I found that type of writing didn’t carry the nuance that I wanted. I know you’re doing some interesting experimentation about writing format and creative medium. What are your thoughts on teaching lessons through a narrative or creative format rather than a list or persuasive format?

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      1. “What are your thoughts on teaching lessons through a narrative or creative format rather than a list or persuasive format?”
        Good question and my favorite answer is: it depends. I know it seems like a copout answer. However, as a writer, I think about two things when I write: what it is that I mean to say and my audience (general reader, academic professionals, other snarky writers, etc.). Regardless of audience, I try to be creative in what it is that I mean to say.
        Yet, regardless of what I write or how I write it, what lessons may be learned largely depends on the reader and how they chose to engage with the writing. I think that’s the beauty of writing and reading – each of us will have a different intimate experience based on our life experiences, knowledge, expectations and dreams. Since I really can’t know every reader, I must know myself and what it is that I mean to say and want to share. I think that’s really all you can do as a writer.

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