As a Cambodian-American, Rosie Chuong grew up seeing discrimination thrust upon these with darker pores and skin, broader options, and curly hair textures inside the Cambodian neighborhood. This expertise blended with the shortage of illustration she noticed within the media pushed her to create API Curls, a web-based neighborhood for Asian and Pacific Islander folks from throughout the globe to share ideas and talk about the ups and downs of caring for and embracing their naturally curly hair. “We deserve a lot greater than to be an afterthought in demographics on different platforms,” says Choung. “I simply needed to be courageous sufficient to take the lead in constructing it.”
Choung describes API Curls as a “multicultural hair motion” geared toward dispelling damaging notations of curly hair within the Asian and Pacific Islander community. This message is evident as you scroll via API Curls’ Instagram web page, which is crammed with tales of hair journeys, curly hair tutorials, and even discussions of subjects like anti-Blackness within the Asian neighborhood because it pertains to textured hair.
Choung’s journey to embrace her curly hair took over 10 years: She says her hair texture grew to become curly after she started her freshman yr of school. Throughout that point she would obtain conflicting messages surrounding her sudden hair texture change.
“Everyone round me who wasn’t Asian was telling me how a lot they cherished my hair and the way rather more unique it made me look,” she says. “But inside the Asian neighborhood, the dialog round my curls was that it was an anomaly, an odd incidence, and one thing that wanted to be mounted by straightening out.”
However via her personal journey, she has since come to see that there’s energy in the neighborhood. “What I’ve uncovered since beginning my curly hair journey is that I am not an anomaly and there is a rising neighborhood. Social media is altering this dialog tremendously.”
With API Curls reaching its two-year mark, Choung hopes her platform can develop to companion with magnificence manufacturers to assist broaden entry to curly hair merchandise globally, together with serving to to diversify the ambassadors chosen to advertise their merchandise.
“I envision API Curls [growing to become] a go-to for our neighborhood members, particularly those that are simply beginning on their very own hair journeys, the place folks can organically join with one another just because there’s lastly a spot that makes this doable.”