When my youngest daughter was born, we were ecstatic.

My oldest daughter, then five years old, was going to have a sister.  She already had a baby brother, but a sister- all I can say is excited does not even begin to describe her state of mind!

My amazing baby girl began to grow, as her siblings, hitting most of her milestones on target.  Except for one thing; at two years old, while all her friends were starting to sprout lots of hair, she still had just a small amount of peach fuzz.  Fast forward six months and everyone at her music class was wearing braids, ponytails, headbands, even the little boys seemed to have hair. Us: Still bald as an eagle.  Finally just before her third birthday, her hair began to grow. Amazingly, we noticed that in a family of straight hair, my youngest child was growing curls.

As her hair grew longer it became a mass of tangled, tight curls.  When I pulled them, they sprang right back. This was my curly haired child.

I adored her and she was beautiful, but sometimes when I looked at her hair, I felt bad.  I had grown up in the era of blow-outs, flat irons and salon-straightening solutions. Curly hair, I was inculcated to believe, was cute on Shirley Temple way back when, but beyond that it was unkempt, unruly, unmanageable, even unprofessional.  In short curly hair was just not that desirable.

I have always had a complicated relationship with my own hair.

Blond, thick and wavy/frizzy, it sometimes looked great, other times looked horrible.  Before I made peace with my own hair, I hated to venture out in the rain, detested the beach, refused to swim unless there was a blow dryer nearby and was terrified of humidity.  Often in the heat of the summer, I would leave my house thinking I looked pretty good only to confront a mirror two hours later, feeling horrified at my messy –haired reflection. When my hair looked good, I felt confident, happy, pretty; when it did not, I was just not at the top of my game.  I kept a ponytail holder wrapped permanently around my wrist for those times it started out OK, and then was not.

How Curlee Girlee book series and Curlee Girlee Movement were Born

I thought about this a lot; perhaps too much. But I didn’t want my child to suffer from disliking her hair/any feature, the way I once had.

I made a promise that I would somehow find a way to instill my child with love for her hair and herself as well as recognition that varying looks, appearances, dress and attributes of all kind can be seen as beautiful and be admired and appreciated by many. I couldn’t take away all possible threats to her self- image, but perhaps I could eliminate that universal “I- hate- my -hair” challenge to her self-esteem.

I began by calling her Curly Girly.  As in “who is my favorite Curlee Girlee in the world”?!  And telling her how beautiful she was inside and how her hair made her special and stand out in a great way.  It was amazing to me, how many comments her hair would illicit from strangers, many of them woeful, as in “Oh how ever do you brush that?!” or “Don’t worry she can blow dry it straight when she gets older”.

My young daughter, only 3 years old at the time, was picking up on all these negative vibes around her.  She was starting to really dislike her hair.

I knew I couldn’t let that happen. I tried to show her pictures and you-tube videos of little girls around the world with curly hair.  I googled “beautiful girls with curly hair” and “Best Books for girls with curly hair” and showed her clip after clip of curly haired woman and little girls but she seemed unmoved.  Then I had an idea. A friend of mine, an artist, drew a character with curly hair. This seemed to resonate.

And Curlee Girlee was born.

My book Curlee Girlee is about a little girl, much like my own, who starts off wanting to be like everyone else and believing she needs straight hair to do that.  After a few entertaining and fun scenes, she discovers something that makes her feel that her hair really is special and she learns to love herself  for it.

Today, 3 years after my first book was published, a movement is well under way. Girls and women with curly hair across the globe are uniting to encourage one another, support one another and literally change the “coarse” of curly hair.

It started with a dream and a wish for my child.

Today Curlee Girlee is one of the best selling books for curly hair girls and has been instrumental in instilling confidence and  self-esteem in women and girls everywhere.

Book 2 in the Curlee Girlee series titled Curlee Girlee’s Got Talent debuts in September 2019. Curlee Girlee t-shirts will be available for purchase just in time for the Summer months.

So whether you are a curlee girlee yourself,  mom to a Curly girl, grandmother, aunt, best friend- join the movement by spreading the word and helping us all feel beautiful and powerful exactly as we are.

Join my FB group empowering Curlee Girlees everywhere, a safe place to learn and share about girls and curls and together let’s keep this movement growing strong!

Atara Twersky, owner of the curly girl movement and author of the Curlee Girlee book series is a TODAY show Style Icon. Her mission is to empower children and teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence.

Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair!


Receive a free Curlee Girlee handbook and coloring pages when you provide your email.

Thanks for joining us in our mission to embrace curls!