I am so excited to bring you this blog post today. You know how much I love sharing things that uplift people with their self-esteem and self-image and get them to embrace what's unique about them--it's what the whole Landry's True Colors Series is based on. So recently I saw this blog post on my friend, Khristee Rich's social media page and I thought it was amazing and asked her if I could share it with my readers. When I first met Khristee four years ago, we were in New York City for a conference and we sat next to each other and I remember thinking oh she must be an actress/model. Turns out she was that and so much more. So please take a moment to read this blog post and share your reflections on it below.
“Definitely Not A Model” by Khristee Rich
After college where I earned a B.F.A Theatre Performance degree from the University of Michigan, I went to The School for Film and Television in New York City. My scene study teacher helped us to see how casting directors saw us, what types we should play and submit to. We all wanted to know this because we weren’t getting cast in the roles we wanted or weren’t getting cast enough period.
He went around the room telling everyone their types simply from their looks. For me he said the role I would play would be a cop, an NYPD cop, definitely not a model. He actually said, “Definitely not a model.”!! I was so hurt and confused. I never thought of myself as tough or that people viewed me as an NYPD cop and not beautiful. I was 22/23 and I thought I had potential to be pretty. I looked to my teacher for advice and guidance and he told me that I was not pretty enough for TV or to be seen as a pretty role on TV. True, I was not especially curvy, I didn’t know how to do fancy makeup and wasn’t that stylish, but I was slim, and not short. Everyone else in the class was given more flattering stereotypes to play and I wondered why I wasn’t. I concluded that I didn’t like the teacher; he was prejudiced against me and I needed to do something different with my hair.
Growing up I wore my hair in braids every day from age 4 to 13 because 1) I had really thick hair and 2) I wanted to look neat in school and fit in like the other kids. Being a light-skinned African American girl the only way others could tell that I was black was my hair.
They would say that I had kinky hair and if I ever wore my hair down my classmates (the boys) would make fun of me.
My hair was my struggle for most of my childhood. On the weekends other kids played in sports and participated in extracurriculars, but for me I had to pick one day, Saturday or Sunday to wash my hair. Normally, I picked Saturday so that I could have a full day to relax before school the next day. I was allowed to watch one cartoon and then for the next 6 hours I washed my hair and my mother dried and braided my hair. Yes, that’s right, every weekend it took 5 1/2 to 6 hours to dry and de-tangle my hair and put it back into neat braids. During that time, I always wished that I could be playing with friends, playing in sports, relaxing watching TV, or outside playing in nature. After hours of having my hair yanked and pulled tightly with a brissle brush, doused with water, and my skin burned from the hair dryer, my head and neck were sore and I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep.
One day on the school bus, a girl told me that I could actually be pretty if I cut my hair (no longer wore braids) and didn’t wear glasses (got contacts).
Shortly after my fashion advice from the school bus, I cut my hair and got contacts. My hairdressers said that I would look pretty if I straightened my hair so I straightened my hair from age 13 to my late 20’s. Then, finally I got tired of straightening my hair so I wore it natural. And then got my hair cut into an afro and finally went blonde a few years ago.
Being a light skinned African American woman, I did not experience prejudice based on the color of my skin, but the thickness and curl of my hair.
In my whole history as an actress, I was never once cast in the role of a cop, but I was represented by a modeling agency in NYC; I did modeling when I lived in Hollywood and I was represented by several commercial agencies who liked my look.
Today I love my hair and feel pretty, but it is interesting reflecting back on my journey and how many people inferred that I wasn’t pretty because of my hair. It is important not to let other people dictate our journey (tell us what we can or cannot do or tell us who we are). We must trust our journey and believe in our passions and dreams.
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Can you identify with this story? Did you experience prejudice growing up? Did you struggle with your identity? Do you love and accept yourself today?
Bio: Khristee Rich is a Holistic Healer, Medium, and Writer who helps empathic women who have tried everything to no avail to finally conquer chronic illness, chronic conditions, and debilitating emotions. She helps them to see their lives from a higher perspective, so that they can thrive in the life that they desire. By getting to the root cause and treating it first, then offering potent actions, and natural remedies, she is able to produce quick, lasting results and help her clients to heal naturally, easily, and joyfully. Through female empowerment, authenticity, emotional support, and natural remedies her clients step into their joy and shine. Step out from behind the curtain, connect with your spirit, and shine!
Keep in touch with Khristee:
The Dancing Curtain: www.thedancingcurtain.com
Free Gift: a PDF for Empaths to Protect Their Energy So That They Shine Bright: www.thedancingcurtain.com/freegift
My instagram is www.instagram.com/khristeerich
The Dancing Curtain on FB:
Pinterest where I include information about health and wellness, spirituality, inspiration, and some of my creativity (stories and poems and insights): www.pinterest.com/khristeerich
My Holistic Health Blog, The Dancing Hummingbird (same info as Pinterest): https://www.thedancingcurtain.com/blog-2
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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