Curlfest, a festival hosted by Curly Girl Collective annually to celebrate natural hair, is about more than just curls. It's an exploration of beauty, creativity, positivity, and sisterhood. It's another event that reminds me why I'm so proud of my black heritage. It's an exhibit of power and grace.
I felt like a kid in a candy store. My eyes couldn't settle on one thing. The crowd, a mixture of short cuts, big loose curls, tight afros, long locs, faux locs, braids, headwraps, and everything in between mixed and mingled, hugged, laughed, and celebrated not just the texture of their hair, but everything about them that makes them magical. Toddlers in giant curly afros held on to their happy moms. Bold African prints, flower crowns, decorated cameras, bright nails, and giant 'fros strolled up and down the grassy hills, creating fun all around them.
I got off a terrible train ride from Manhattan and made my way to the fest. It was my first time, and I heard it was their third year running. I had no expectations. I also didn't plan to make it there until the day before. I messaged my friend Cacsmy the morning of, and like the little exploring butterfly that she is, she agreed to meet me there.
As I stepped in the park, it was hard not to admire all the beauty surrounding me. Women of all ages, laughed and danced under the hot Brooklyn sun. Afrobeat, followed by caribbean music danced in our eardrums, alleviating the heat and hot sun. Ice cream, cotton candy, and bubble gun machine vendors circled the tents, tempting the kid in me to buy it all! And I did. Friendly faces all around came to say hello. Hugs! Tight, tight hugs, hula hoop sessions and very serious and insightful conversations occurred effortlessly.
Curlfest is not just about the curls. It's about victory. It's about love, acceptance, and friendship. Should you try to make it next year? Absolutely.