What is your background and when did you start The Curl Talk Project?
I am a Marketing professional and worked in the professional services sector, focusing on ethical business, sustainability but also Diversity & Inclusion.
I began to work on the Curl Talk Project a year ago when I started to feel that something in my life was missing. I have always been interested in topics such as representation, diversity, race, and culture, but didn’t feel like I was doing anything with it.
As a curly hair obsessed, creating something that would link textured hair to these notions was an obvious decision to me. The Curl Talk Project is the end result.
Where do you live and how has this inspired your work?
I currently live in London where topics such as representation, identity, and diversity are more talked about than in Paris, where I originally come from.
Evolving in a new city where people are happily talking about these topics, create books, festivals, seminars, exhibitions around these, really inspired me to move forward with the Curl Talk Project. For me, it seems impossible to live in a city as diverse and multicultural as London and not want to make something out of it.
What do you love about what you do?
Through this project I met the most amazing women!
All the way through, I was inspired by the different personalities I was meeting with, I learned a lot from them and discovered many things about myself. I am also happy to see that what I am doing has a purpose.
Creating the Curl Talk Project was obviously important for me but the message behind it is also important for many women who struggled or still struggle to accept their hair the way it is.
What has been the process of getting your project out to the world?
Believing in myself was the first and most important step in the creation process. I remember questioning the importance of such project and tried to find excuses not to start it. Not knowing how to use a real camera, not feeling confident in regards to my written English (as a nonnative English person) were elements that made me doubt about my capacity to create something great. As soon as I took the decision to try it anyway, everything came naturally.
Organising 12 months of interviews with more than 100 women was difficult and time-consuming as you can imagine, but believing in what I was doing made me go through it and made me be proud of it.
Who are you inspired by and why?
My mother is always my primary source of inspiration. She taught me to be strong, confident and showed me the importance of being a go-getter.
Without her support, I wouldn’t be here, I wouldn’t have tried, I wouldn’t even have believed in my ability to do great things.
Describe the importance to you of confidence/ self belief in regards to what you do?
I believe these are the most important in life! I am not the most confident person, however, I know that I am capable, and this is priceless.
People will always try to limit the extent of your accomplishments in life, they will try to degrade you and point out your weaknesses. Without self-belief, you won’t be able to fight these people and it will hinder your actions over the long term.
What is your definition of a creative spirit?
For me, a creative spirit is curious, open-minded, and never stops learning and discovering.
What motivates you to do what you do?
The Curl Talk Project shows to many women that they are not alone in this hair acceptance journey, they are not the only ones who hated their hair because society told them it wasn't « the norm »
Many women still struggle to believe that they are beautiful with their natural curly hair but I believe they will get there eventually when they will be ready to ignore society’s rules or people’s opinions. It’s a very difficult process but it can be done.
Discussing this topic and letting women know that others experience similar situations or self-disbelief is key. I believe it can encourage them to think « if she did it, I can do it too ». This is my main motivation.
What are your personal Mantras?
If people tell you that you can’t do it, ignore them and do it.
Tag a person who you want to shout out and who you think we should interview next ?
Emma Kayani! She created Origins doc (@originsdoc on instagram) which is a series of videos where she interviews black and mixed race women about their natural curly hair and their relationship with it. She is lovely, clever and inspiring.
Check out The Curl Project www.thecurltalkproject.com