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Diaspora Profile - Jessika Reis

We would like to share with you a bit of the history of those who are part of our #Turbante-se team.

This is our dear Jessika Reis (@jessikmrs). She shares this journey with us and says this is how she reconnected with her ancestry, with her history, and started to see the world in a different way.

“I understand that every human being is unique, and that makes me love myself even more.”

— Jessika Reis

Jessika Monteiro’s statement (she is from São Paulo, living in Ireland) brings the kind of comfort that many girls with curly and kinky hair did not have in the past.

Turning the TV and hence not recognising the self was part of her childhood and teenage years. However, it did not undermine her self-love and sense of individuality.

“My parents have always told me I’m beautiful, since I was child. I believe them, yes, but as many black girls, there’s always a confusing feeling related to hair. My hair transition has been a watershed to my self-esteem.”

— Jessika Reis

Her speech restates the importance of representativeness when it comes to self-confidence. Whereas many would think that is simply whining, the “black is beauty” reassurance (that fights the grotesque stigmas shown so far, including on TV) is, indeed, a transformative power.

While in 2021 the role of black aesthetics seems to be hard to be understood by those who do not feel it on their skin, Jessika highlights how turbans evoke her ancestrality, as does her hair.

“Nowadays the turban means understanding my personality, my people’s assurance and it means who I am. I learn about its power everyday.”

— Jessika Reis


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