March is Women’s History Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to honor and acknowledge the great women who have paved the way for us throughout all levels of society. However, too often Women’s History is equated with White Women’s History, and when it’s not, we tend to focus only famous and/or historical women. While it is important to give people their flowers while they’re alive to receive them, it is equally important to acknowledge the women that have had an impact on our everyday lives. For example, let me tell you about Nicole.
My mother and I met her a church, and I instantly fell in love with her bubbly personality, infectious laugh, platinum blonde short hair, and ridiculously long nails. She came into my life at the perfect point. My mom was tired of doing my hair, and I felt that I was past the age of wearing the Shirley Temple curls my mother adored. Nicole is the person that introduced me to the art of dyeing my hair and encouraged me to never be afraid to experiment with color. She was quick to scold me when it was apparent that I had been wearing too many ponytails or not wrapping my hair at night, and she always praised me when she noticed that I actually took some of her advice to heart. She gave me perms, curls, flexi rods, straw sets, asymmetrical bobs, shaved sides, big chops, and everything else in between. More than that, Nicole became my big sister.
She was one of my closest confidants during a time where I felt that my parents never understood me. She listened as I vented about schools, boys, my idiotic brother, my eventual falling out with the church, my deep-seated resentment for my parents over several things, and my never-ending fear that I would fail at everything past high school. She gave me real ass advice when I needed it and quickly let me know when I was out of pocket. She’s been there for every major milestone since the time that I met her, and I don’t know who I would be without her. She’s been more to me than I could ever be to her, and when I eventually send this post to her, I hope she knows and understands how much she really means to me. I don’t get to see her or talk to her as I often as I used to, but whenever I come to town, I always make sure to take time to stop by her shop to see her. People always tell me that I’m one of the easiest people to talk to, and if that’s the case, it’s because I learned from my big sister. She unknowingly took an insecure, smart ass, little girl under her wing, and encouraged her to be the brightest and best version of herself. If there’s anybody that deserves to be acknowledged during Women’s History Month it’s her.
During the last week in March, we here at the 94% will be partnering with our friends at Life of a Single Spoon to present the #EverydayWomyn challenge. We encourage you to send letters, anecdotes, poems, pictures, artwork, videos, etc. to us sharing the everyday woman in your life that has made a difference. It could be your mother, your beautician, your high school teacher, the candy lady in your neighborhood, or anybody else! We’ll be collecting the submissions during the week of March 18th to March 24th, and we’ll start posting them on our website and social media accounts starting the March 25th. We hope to hear from you and hope that you will support us as we honor #EverydayWomyn across the world!