CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A group of local students who have been teased at school because of their natural hair are now coming together to send a message that their hair doesn’t need fixing, but views of beauty do.
Three girls at three different schools have been brought together by one concern -- they have all been bullied about the way their natural hair grows.
“I would see people pulling it or talking about how nappy it is or tangled and short,” said Kamaria Brown, who appeared in a video celebrating her natural hair.
"Maybe like it I need to comb it out or it needs to be different," said Jalawn Monroe, who has been bullied at school because of her hair.
Despite the hurtful words the young ladies are learning how to be confident and embrace their natural beauty with a video that was created by their natural hair stylist Alethia Finley to inspire change.
“I wanted to do the video because of the things that happened inside of the salon that the kids go through. A lot of them felt like they didn’t want to wear their natural hair because of how bad the other kids treat them,” said Finley, who is a natural specialist at MzCinninnati Hair Design.
She says she was hurt to hear her client Jalawn was struggling with her image. Jalawn’s mother Sirren Monroe says the insults about her daughter’s hair started when she was in the third grade.
“Her sister had an afro and she wanted to wear an afro like her sister so we did it and the kids at her school started picking on her,” said Sirren Monroe.
Jalawn is now a sixth-grader and her mother says the bullying hasn’t stopped, which has taken a toll on her self-esteem and her education.
“She won’t turn her homework in because it draws attention, like standing up in front of a classroom full of people," said her mother.
Now she and several other girls are now putting their crowns on display. They are learning and inspiring others that long hair or short, straight or curly -- they are amazing as they are. The video released Tuesday on social media can be found below:
The girls in the video were once strangers but have created a strong bond at the salon learning an important life lesson: “I am not my hair."
“You should never feel bad about yourself,” said Brooklyn Kemp who also appeared in the video.
"Every young lady who has natural hair should feel like they are beautiful everywhere they go," said Brown.
“I know that I am beautiful,” said Jalawn.
The owner of the Salon says she is creating a movement to help other people learn to accept their natural beauty. She is currently working to start a support group at her salon on the Northside.