Children and youth are bombarded every day with thousands of messages about their body. From the moment they wake up in the morning, they come across messages on social media, their phone, on billboards that textured hair is not beautiful, curly hair is not as sexy as straight hair, kinky hair is a disease that is “hard to manage” and the only cure is to straighten it, and that dreadlocks and sisterlocks are a “no-no” unless they want people to think they smoke or sell marijuana. In a world where bullying, depression, and self-harm are becoming more prevalent, it’s important to address these issues of self-image. Because how we feel about our physical body from head to toe affects our mental health, and the issues we deal with as a result of social perception of our body seep into other areas of our lives. This workshop helps children and youth build understanding and confidence.
This is an always-evolving five-module curriculum. The workshop is 75% about cultivating a healthy mindset about beauty and our body, and 25% about styling hair.
- Preparing your mindset – Building mental strength and capacity to embrace our body the way that it is, including our textured hair
- Building rituals and processes to help you love your hair – How to incorporate natural hair care in your self-care journey
- De-colonizing universal shame around natural hair and the impact of mainstream media
- Defining your own idea of beauty – Affirmations to help you love on yourself everyday
- Explore with styles – Discover your go-to style – other styles for different activities
Osas Eweka-Smith is a body positive advocate, community organizer, and the Founder of the Edmonton Natural Hair Show (ENHS) since 2016. ENHS is an annual event that inspires people of all ages to embrace their Afro-textured natural hair as part of what makes them uniquely beautiful. The Show attracts guests, vendors, and social media influencers from Calgary, Fort McMurray, Lac La Biche, Red Deer, and other places across Alberta.
In 2020, Osas debuted her first film—Beyond Curls & Kinks—a documentary that follows a group of women who are challenging beauty standards and empowering each other and the next generation to embrace their coily kinky curly hair. The film explores the complex relationship they have with their Afro-textured hair and issues such as self-esteem, confidence, and identity. It also challenges society to see women and girls beyond their curls & kinks.
Outside of organizing natural hair events and making films, Osas is an award-winning public relations professional. She’s also a mom to a three-year-old boy who loves his long hair and a one-year-old girl who likes to run her tiny fingers through her own textured hair.
You can follow her mom journey at @Osas_OhSahS and the hair show by searching Edmonton Natural Hair Show on Facebook and Instagram.
This class is offered via Zoom. Prior to the class, registered participants will receive a Zoom link.