- In “Princess’s Diary”, Mia’s curly hair is depicted as a problem and straightened.
- As someone with curly hair, the famous transformation scene in which Paolo recoils from Karl was memorable.
- I used to straighten my curls quite often, so it took me some time to come to terms with my natural texture.
I was eight years old when I saw Mia Thermopolis go from “Frizzball” to a Genovian princess in “The Princess Diaries” with the help of a hair straightener.
That scene stuck with me as a person with hair similar to that of Anne Hathaway’s character. It internalized the message that straight hair is traditionally an attractive “after” while being an ugly “before”.
There’s nothing wrong with changing your hair if you want. However, the stigma attached to curly or rough hair can make you feel like you’re being forced to straighten your hair in order to meet mainstream beauty standards or to look professional.
It didn’t help that I got so many compliments when I straightened my hair.My curls were simply a problem to solve.
I finally learned to embrace my natural curls with a reverse ‘Princess Diaries’ makeover
After years of burning my hair with heat tools and harsh products, I came across the Curly Girl Method while searching for tutorials online. The guidelines and techniques for that product were new to me, but the method is based on a long-used black hair care routine.
I found a salon in New York City that specializes in curly hair. I bought a microfiber towel to minimize frizz. I learned to “skim the crunchiness” left by gels and mousses, leaving ringlets soft and defined. Rather than reach for straighteners for special occasions, she wore formal updos that allowed her curls to frame her face.
When I finally decided to stop fighting my hair and work with my natural curl pattern, I actually started to appreciate the look.
I wanted Mia to have the same experience in Paolo’s salon chair.