Magali is a young woman that i admire for the genuine love she has for others. She is a strong, bold and confident woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. She is a woman of action and in 2014, she launched her own clothing brand Short Hair Don’t Care, you will know more about this brand in the interview.
Allow me to introduce you to a woman of exception, Magali !
Photo credit : Manikmati Photography
MUA : Miss Deisy
Can you describe yourself in few lines ?
I’m a 26. I do a lot of stuffs but basically I’m a teacher (This is what I love the most in all the things that I do), I coordinate the dance show Articien and I’m part of the NGO Afrikawaly. I spend a lot of time around kids because I simply L-O-V-E them. I dance once a week (because when I don’t dance something ain’t right.) I read a lot (reading is fun). I’m full of contradictions: I’m shy (my hands are shaking right now knowing that I will be on your blog) but at the same time I’ll speak out if something doesn’t sit right with me. I’m strong and went through a lot, but I’m also a BIG crier (I cry a lot, just rarely in front of people.) I’m the most stressed person ever, but I will be the first to tell you “Don’t worry everything will be alright” lol. Finally I love love!!!
# What are the 3 causes that matter the most to you and why ?
The High Rate of High School Dropouts: Yes my first cause must be related to education. This is why I became a teacher! As a kid going to a high school in a neighborhood considered violent/dangerous etc… I witnessed so many acts of injustice, so many cases where the teacher didn’t even try to give a proper lesson. I was lucky to have parents who were always looking after me, but unfortunately many kids don’t have that family support.
I’m really concerned because on top of that lack of family structure that becomes more present nowadays; we keep selling a false dream to teenagers. They are told that school isn’t that important. They often hear : “look around some people have a master degree but they can’t even find a job”. They are told that money is the most important thing… But in reality, chances to have a job that pays more than the minimum wage are limited without a high school diploma. That’s the truth that should be told.
Violence against children: Every time I hear a story about a child who has been abused, raped, beaten, killed… I bleed from the inside. Children are innocent creatures. Why in the world would you want to hurt them… The world is crazy.
I went to Benin and lived a life changing experience in an orphanage for 2 months (seriously I was never the same after that.) Nuns ran the place and tried their best to provide a safe and secure environment for the kids who were there. I found it absolutely genius. I really hope that one day I’ll be able to create that kind of structure for children.
Racism: Because it is still there (yes I was in denial too). Because it is institutionalized. Because not talking about it isn’t solving anything. Because my racist experiences affected me deeply (I wasn’t ready lol)
# What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and that keeps you going for the day ?
Ok im sorry I’m gonna be super cheesy but after thanking God for giving me another day to live, the first thing I think about is my boo… I actually text him, wait for his answers… And I’m good to go!
# How long have you been wearing your natural hair and what made you decide to « go natural » ?
5 years now… I had my last relaxer in august 2010. I was just done seriously! Paying all that money for my hair. My scalp was constantly burning, I had alopecia… I mean I was done!!! I had no particular conviction I just knew that relaxer wasn’t for me anymore. I didn’t do a traditional big chop. I already had very short hair, so I just let it grow a bit, cut all the relaxed parts and TAH DAH! I loved my hair right away!!! I love it, I’ll never go back lol!!! I have to admit that sometimes I feel like it is my hair that decides what to do lol and I wish it was easier to take care of … But it’s worth it ! I feel so FREE ! It’s FUN, and I find it BEAUTIFUL!!!
# How do you feel about the fact that we see more and more black women wearing their natural hair ? Would you call it a trend ?
I’m PLEASED and HAPPY, especially when my students tell me that I inspired them to go natural… I’m all for it!!!
Even if you don’t accept it, your natural hair is a statement. People want to touch it, people look at you differently, it reveals all your insecurities, it puts your blackness on the spotlight (yes people will throw random signs associated to the black power movement to you, be prepared) People will also tell you the most hateful comments about your texture, your curls (this is a taboo in the natural hair community, but there is clearly a texture/curls discrimination) they will tell you about how you were more beautiful before blablabla, so I actually think it is a courageous decision.
And It’s definitely not a trend, we all have a different journey with our hair, we all went natural for personal reasons, saying it’s a trend is kind of insulting.
# When did you create your t-shirt brand , SHORT HAIR DON’T CARE and what was your main motivation ?
I launched it in May 2014… Short Hair Don’t Care started by a conversation between me and other women, about the weird/crazy/stupid/ignorant comments we used to get because of our short haircut…
I then shared this conversation with my fiancé, who actually came up with a logo. I was like « Oh wow your logo is cool, let’s make some t-shirts ». And that’s how it all started !
# Tell me more about the concept behind these T-shirts ?
I just think that women’s beauty or feminity can’t be defined by the length of their hair… There is so much more in a woman than just hair.
I have many insecurities I can tell you some: my acnea, the fact that I’m very hairy… But I never found myself ugly! I understood very early that if you don’t love yourself, that love will not come from other people.
When I first cut my hair I cried (lol) I was like not only I have acnea but now I won’t even have hair… I had people telling me “Oh you look different but you look great” but I also had a lot of people saying “Oh you know what you shouldn’t have done that, it doesn’t suit you, I don’t find you beautiful” And that specific comment I wouldn’t accept it and would simply answer that “I actually find myself very pretty with short hair!“
And that’s the concept behind these t-shirts, it’s an attitude. It’s my way to support women in being confidence enough to say : ”Your opinion on my look doesn’t matter I’m beautiful no matter what you think, thank you very much and have a nice day!!!”
# Your T-Shirts are now sold on an amazing woman’s blog who survived breast cancer. How dit it happen ?
Blog : www.NALIE.ca
I shot a promo video with an awesome woman named Pacesix, and I told her that I wanted to give part of the profit to an organism related to Cancer. When you go through chemo you lose your hair and that’s terrible because in that case having short hair is not a choice it’s forced on you!!! A lot of women going through that stage are struggling with accepting their new image. So with « Short Hair Don’t Care » i just wanned to support these women. Pacesix told me about Nalie and suggested me to contact her.
I contacted her, we met and she was incredible! She was so honest about her story and agreed right away to promote the tee-shirts, they are now sold her blog and part of the profit goes to her. She has so many projects aimed to support young women with breast cancer so I’m happy I can help!
# When SHORT HAIR DON’T CARE became a project for you what did you do to complete it ? What was the hardest step for you in this project and how did you deal with it ?
It’s not complete yet… And to be honest I’ve actually been so absorbed with all that was happening in my personal life that I kind of neglected this project a bit… All I can say is that the hardest was to realize that people will like what you do but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be buying your T-shirts … So yeah I’m still trying to process that. I have a lot of ideas though, so stay tunedJ!
# What do you think are the most common attributes of the women wearing your T-Shirts?
They are all owning and affirming their image. They are confident! They embrace who they are, and you just have to deal with it because they don’t care about your opinion !
# What makes a women beautiful to you ?
I don’t really have beauty criterias… My friends actually say that I find way too many people beautiful! Dimples will always work on me… Also a smile, it shows that you are nice and I noticed that someone nice will almost automatically be pretty to me. I’ll just say that confidence and accepting your flaws are the two main traits that make a woman beautiful to me.
# What do you have to say to any woman interested in going back to their natural hair but afraid to make the move (big chop or transition) ?
It’s going to be the BEST decision for your hair! Facing your natural self is scary but the feeling of freedom you will have after doing it is truly worth it 🙂 ! If the big chop scares you, let me tell you one thing : hair grows back! Don’t forget that you can still transition and wear extensions during the process if you are not comfortable with the two textures.
Go go go!!!
Thank you Magali !!