Someone is definitely cutting onions!
An emotional video of a 4-year-old girl named Ariyonna being affirmed and encouraged by her hair stylist after calling herself ugly has gone viral. Now, an entire community has come forward to echo the encouragement.
The video was first posted by Atlanta-based stylist Shabria who goes by “Lil Wave Daddy” on social media. While the stylist was broadcasting live on Instagram, Ariyonna caught a glimpse of herself in the feed and said, “I’m so ugly.” Shabria instantly shut it down, telling Ariyonna how beautiful she was as the little girl sobbed in her arms. Shabria posted the video, letting her followers know that, “we must UPLIFT our queens.” The video was both heartbreaking and heartwarming and a reminder of the dangers of what our babies are internalizing everyday.
Going viral in a matter of hours, one of the first communities to respond was Professional Black Girl, a digital platform created by Dr. Yaba Blay, dedicated to celebrating the beauty and culture of Black women and girls. Followers donated money and gifts to be sent in a care package to Ariyonna to remind her of her magic and her community.
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This is just one part of the care package I’ve been organizing for our baby girl, Ariyonna! LOTS of gifts and LOTS of donations! 🤗 Soooo many folks responded to my call and emailed me (as requested), but I’m also assuming that many folks got the info from someone else and sent their gift/donation without communicating with me directly because I have a number of items and quite a few dollars from folks to whom I can't even say 'Thank You.' 😐 IF YOU SENT A GIFT OR A DONATION but did not receive an email confirmation from me, please email me at email@example.com so that I can list your name among Ariyonna’s virtual Aunties & Uncles. I am no longer accepting physical contributions but happy to accept donations through Friday! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for my CashApp/Venmo/PayPal/Zelle ID. 🚫NO DMS🚫 #WeAllWeGot #CarePackageForAriyonna #ArtworkForAriyonna #ProfessionalBlackGirl cc @matthewacherry
Matthew Cherry, Oscar-winning director of Hair Love, also rallied folks around supporting Ariyonna, calling on #ArtTwitter to draw portraits of the young girl that make her feel beautiful, so he could send them to her and Shabria, The Root reports.
Hey #ArtTwitter can we get a collection of drawings together of this sweet little girl who mistakenly called herself ugly like the one @LeislAdams did so we can get a collection of them to her and the hairdresser @LilWaveDaddy that encouraged her. Make sure to include the dimples https://t.co/PyG6wRpnrv— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) March 7, 2020
Actress Viola Davis chimed in, saying, “THIS is the motivating factor for Black women to leave a legacy...of WORTH, of BEAUTY! I’m speaking LIFE into Ariyonna. From a sista who looks a lot like you...you were born worthy therefore you were born beautiful.”
Jada Pinkett Smith also reposted the video, captioned, “This made me cry! Kudos to this beautiful woman for loving on this beautiful child! We gotta love on each other! This made my heart sing.”
Forever First Lady Michelle Obama even took time out to encourage Ariyonna, saying, “You are gorgeous. In a world that sometimes tries to say otherwise, I want to tell you - and every other beautiful, intelligent, brave Black girl - just how precious you are.”
Shabria posted a follow up video of Ariyonna where she thanked everyone and repeated that “she’s Black and beautiful.”
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I gave her a quote to resite and now she won’t stop saying “I’m Black & Beautiful” 😍 Devil you won’t steal this baby joy ! Thank you to everyone who sent kind words to Ariyonna 💕 today she’s more confident and vibrant like any other day but just more of it ! God is def moving in this place ! Pray for your kids even if they’re not yours . Pray for em anyway !
Let’s continue to love up on Ariyonna!
And S/O to Shabria! Black hair stylists are the REAL MVPs!
Photo Courtesy of @lilwavedaddy/Instagram