“Hey Curly,” the good-looking guy calls out to a woman with thick, gorgeous, curly hair. She turns and smiles, as a purple bottle of shampoo appeared on the TV screen.

In the first 20 years or my life, this was the only time I spotted a curly-haired protagonist on the screen, or between the pages of a book. Poker straight, shiny hair was the ideal and the thick, frizzy, mass of curls I had resulted in a lot of teasing. ‘Jhaadu’, ‘ghosla’, ‘kuruvi koodu’, and the ubiquituous ‘Maggi’ are just some of the nicknames the curls attracted. Every day, other children made fun of me, asking me what hidden treasures were buried deep into my hair. It was years before Hermione Granger showed up, but even she was ‘bushy-haired’ and while we all aspired to be as smart and brave as she was, nobody really wanted to look like her.

Written in verse, this picture book is the story of a girl who struggles with her thick, unruly, frizzy, curly hair.

It took over two decades before I learned to accept and eventually fall in love with my hair. This love-hate relationship with my hair, and the journey toward self-acceptance inspired me to write I Hate My Curly Hair. Written in verse, this picture book is the story of a girl who struggles with her thick, unruly, frizzy, curly hair.

Divya Anand book
I Hate My Curly Hair by Divya Anand

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The creative protagonist goes through extreme (and sometimes hilarious) lengths to straighten her hair and look like everybody else. Until the day a chance encounter with a bully changes her mind. She then begins to appreciate her thick curls and falls in love with them!

My aim was to create a character that all curly-haired children could relate to, something I wish I had while I was growing up.

Divya Anand book
I Hate My Curly Hair by Divya Anand.

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My aim was to create a character that all curly-haired children could relate to, something I wish I had while I was growing up. I Hate My Curly Hair is a book for anyone who has been teased about their looks, who feels like they don’t fit with the ‘ideal’ standards of beauty, or who wishes they looked different. Join the Curly Haired Girl through her journey of self-love and hair love, whether or not you have curly hair!

Divya Anand is the author of I Hate My Curly Hair. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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