Andrea C. Da Silva – Hair Heritage And Being The Odd One Out

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Meet Andrea C. Da Silva, the Brazilian influencer brought up by German parents making waves in the plus-size movement. As an advocate for body confidence, Andrea knows what the challenge of complying with society’s standards of “beauty” is like, and as a foreigner brought up in a small town in Germany, she knows what it’s like to stand out – particularly because of her hair.

Andrea struggled to accept her hair type growing up because she was mainly surrounded by blonds with straight hair – her Brazilian heritage was a factor for her dark, curly hair, obviously contrasting with the norm in her area. Although gradually through the years, Andrea’s hair has become wavier more than straight, she has learned to appreciate it. When we’re younger, the last thing we want to do is be different and stand out, but now, Andrea has really connected with her hair and her origins. She has found herself in a phase of self-acceptance that is something we all long to reach.

Another problem she struggled with when she was younger was looking after her curly hair, and with European parents, they also did not know how to manage her curls. Her mum was part of the self-love process, and even when she struggled to comb Andrea’s hair, she told her how lovely her hair was. “She would often say to me “You have really nice hair but it’s so difficult to comb!””. Although, it is also true that even if people say they love your hair if you are ashamed of it, that won’t make you feel any better. Positive comments tend to go straight over our heads! That’s why it’s important for you to love you before looking for acceptance from others.

Her path to hair acceptance continued during her travels – studying at university in London allowed her to meet all sorts of nationalities and make new friends, who helped her discover different hair types like her own and she learned from them how to style it. In a small town in Germany, people were never seen rocking braids, but her discoveries in London made her want to step out of that comfort zone and be more playful with her hairstyles. The diversity present in London helped her realize how being different is a positive thing, and how it shapes you. Looking at Andrea’s feed today, it’s hard to imagine her feeling unconfident about her hair – it’s inspirational to see her experiment with different hairstyles from braided buns to playing with hair accessories.

There are so many occasions where we don’t dare to experiment in case we stand out more, but why would that be a bad thing? So many hairstyles are trial and error, we’ve all done a catastrophic messy bun or completely failed a braid but that’s the whole fun of it – learning how to perfect our hair skills and finding ones that reflect our true personality. Like fashion or makeup, hair is another creative outlet for us to express our style identity, so be more playful and adventurous!

Earlier this year, Andrea decided to find her birth family and head to Brazil. Though her parents had always been honest about her adoption and helped her understand her roots, she felt she really need to take this step for herself. This really helped her accept her hair, finally seeing for herself that it was part of her exotic heritage and that it was unique to her place of birth. “Brazil is a super diverse country […] but when I visited the area where I’m from (Cabedolo, near Recife on the East coast), I saw lots of people with the same hair type”. This trip allowed her to reconnect with her hair on a more personal level. She also managed to get hair tips from women she met with similar hair types – hair really is a topic that can bring people together, and help them to connect. It gives you a sense of belonging, which is why it is so important to give your hair, and yourself, some love.

When you are feeling down about your hair, or you are lacking confidence, remember – your hair is part of your identity, it’s a form of self-expression. It represents your roots but it also represents the person you are today. If we can learn something from the stunning Andrea, it’s that acceptance is key, and to not compare yourself to others. There are hair types, but no one has your hair. Just like there is only one of you. Each person is unique, and that’s why standing out shouldn’t be something to avoid, in fact, it should give you an even bigger excuse to get experimenting. Playing with your hair texture and accessories should be part of the fun! So embrace being you!

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