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Talkin’ Knotty with Kim Coles: Kinky, Curly Kim

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A little while ago I had the privilege of interviewing actress and comedian Kim Coles. She was a pleasure to talk to, insightful, wise, and hilarious (of course!).  More importantly, interviewing Kim gave us a peek into Hollywood’s view of natural hair and possible reasons why we don’t see more of it.
We remember Kim Coles as Sinclair on the hit TV show Living Single, rocking her micro braids, goddess braids, and cornrows that always seemed to match her quirky and vivacious personality. Kim tells us that she wore her hair in those braids for over ten years, even keeping her hair a certain length at all times so that it wouldn’t get too long for her micros. Kim states that she liked the way that she looked, but she hadn’t seen all of her natural hair at once in years.
Now that Kim is natural, she says that is adjusting! “I’m at the exploration stage. I’ve found a couple little tricks that work for me. For example, I have to double-strand twist my hair at night. It’s so interesting to me how a style will change from day to day. The way it looks when you first wash it maybe different from how it looks on the third or fourth day. I am still learning my hair.”
As is the story with many other newly natural girls, Kim is learning her texture, as well as her friends and family. “My white friends will ask to touch my hair sometimes.” She notes with a giggle, “I’m amazed with it myself!”  And it’s pretty amazing! According to Kim, even her mother was amazed with her kinky curls, though it brought Kim to a shocking realization, “I realized that my own mother had forgotten how my hair looked. That’s how long it had been since she had actually seen it.”
Though Kim is a celebrity and in the spotlight a lot, her choice to go natural was not a political one. She does, however, understand how it can be taken that way. “Our natural hair, whether you want it to be political or not…I’ve said many times that this is not a political choice. But, I am aware that when casting directors go ‘Oh, your hair is cute!’ what they’re really saying is ‘Wow, you’re a Black girl, huh?’ So whether or not you are trying to be political, there is a statement that you’re making, saying, ‘This is my natural kinky-curly hair, (if that is indeed your texture, mine is kinky-curly) and I am rocking it like this.’”
So what was Kim’s motivation to finally go natural and forgo her signature braided look? Well according to her, it was just that. “I needed a change! I decided that I wanted to look in the mirror and see the REAL, authentic me without all the extra hair. There was nothing wrong with (my braids). I was simply long overdue for a change!” And what a beautiful, empowering change it was! Since going natural, Kim has been very involved in the natural hair community; attending events, participating in promotions, and being an inspiration for Black women all over the country. The message that Kim is inspiring with? Embrace yourself. And we are happy to pass it along.
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Conducted on November 1, 2011

 

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