Hair Goals & Queen of the Internet Natasha Leeds – Inspiration Mondays 💃🏾
It’s been a while since we’ve featured anyone on Inspiration Mondays, things have gotten a little crazy. At the moment I had limited mobility and I was stressed out and glued to my couch for a two weeks and though I’m not a 100% heeled I am walking again. I have been following Natasha for years, Like I’m literally obsessed with her. To see her blow up right inform of my eyes, has truly been the most amazing and inspiring thing. I wanted to feature her on my blog because she’s a rockstar and who doesn’t like rockstars. Here are some questions I asked Natasha about Love, Fashion and of course her famous head of hair. So keep reading.
1 – Natasha You have blown up on the Internet, like literally you’re everywhere. You’re on Pinterest, Tumblr, I’ve even seen your face being used to advertise dating apps. How did this all get started, have you always wanted to be a beauty/fashion blogger?
Though I’m thankful for all the spots I’ve been featured on…the dating app was one I didn’t approve of and I’ve been trying to get myself removed from their page for months. But I suppose that comes with being ‘literally everywhere’ right?! lol haha! Right, so back to the answer… No & I guess ‘kinda-sorta’ yes. I never did envision myself becoming a blogger but during my college years I started getting more into fashion and beauty and it was something I enjoyed chit-chatting with my friends about. A little after that I discovered online blogs and I was hooked. Eventually I told myself that this was something I wanted to do. Unfortunately I spent a few years talking myself out of it (covers face).
I eventually got the push I needed when I joined Instagram. My followers loved my OOTD posts and day by day my following grew. This allowed me to see that there was a demand for a second outlet where I could share the full details of my outfits with my followers. In September of 2014, StylishLee.com was born as a way to document my personal style as well as the things I’m inspired by. Since then I’ve discovered my love for photography and what I thought was a trivial hobby, quickly turned into one of my passions. This growing interest in photography lead me to discover the meaning behind individual expression.
Starting a fashion blog has helped me grow in so many ways. For myself personally the greatest thing is the confidence it has given me from putting myself out there. Before I started I was very insecure [I still am every now & then] and I often times beat myself up mentally. But now that I’ve been doing this for 3 years I’ve been able to feel more comfortable in my own skin and it has allowed me to love myself more. Additionally, another plus has been the connection I’ve had with so many people from all over the world. Some whom I’ve met and some who I may never meet, and I think that is truly a beautiful thing. I hope to continue to use this outlet as a way to share my thoughts, style, and snippets of my life with the hope that I am able to inspire, empower and motivate my readers to employ fashion, art and design to give them a sense of confidence.
2 – With fame comes a huge responsibility do you ever feel pressured to be a certain version of yourself that you might not necessarily be all the time.
With fame definitely comes a huge responsibility and occasionally I do feel pressured to only share certain aspects of my life. I never did set out to become a role model but having this platform has made me into an inspiration to those who follow me and led them to hold me to a high standard of behavior. As much as I wish ‘public figures’ were treated the same as everyone else, at the end of the day we expect more from the people who we love and look up to. As someone who is respected in my community I do feel like I have a responsibility to show my best self. And for that, I am constantly more aware of my audience, because I do have a lot of sway over young, impressionable minds.
What I say and do has a great impact but regardless of who I am, at the very least, I am representing myself and thankfully I’ve been able to remain in the ‘spotlight’ due to my work rather than my antics.
3 – I think one of the most notorious things about you is your hair. This didn’t happen over night, how many years are we looking at. (How long have you been natural and how do you maintain such gorgeous hair all the time.)
I did my big chop on June 4, 2013, so I’ve been natural for 4 years! If I said it was an easy road I’d be lying. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in my bedroom cutting off my hair in the wee hours of the morning. Little did I know that the next few months would have been a bumpy road for me. I went through SEVERAL failed attempts before mastering my wash & go. Partly because I was following the steps of some of my fave natural hair Youtubers rather than figuring out my own. But through trial and error I eventually was able to figure out what techniques and products worked for my hair and what did not. Now, 4 years later, my go-to hairstyle is still a wash & go, but the greatest tip I can share to maintain healthy hair is to DEEP CONDITION your hair regularly.
4 – I’ve always wanted to know what do you do with your hair at night. It’s always something I think about every time I see you post a picture.
I used to sleep with a bonnet but as my hair grew I switched over to a satin scarf. I pretty much flip my head upside down and loosely tie a satin scarf around my hair.
5 – Do you think Society is more acceptable now of black women with natural hair or have you faced any form of discrimination now or ever in your life. Where do you think Society is on this subject?
I do think society is much more accepting of black women with natural hair but they are very biased towards certain natural hair textures over others. I’ve found that society is much more accepting of a woman with a looser hair pattern over her kinkier haired sister. Just take a scroll down any popular natural hair page and you’ll notice it yourself. For every 10 loosely textured curly hair photos there is only one photo shared of a woman with thick, kinky natural hair. So though we’ve become more accepting, I do think we still have a long way to go when texture discrimination comes into play.
In my own life the type of discrimination I’ve faced came mostly from people who I knew. I remember when I was contemplating to go natural and I made mention of it to a few of my friends. They always had the same response…’WHY?’, ‘NO!’, ‘dat nah go fit yuh!’, ’what if yuh hair tuff and dry?. This was one of the reasons I took so long to big chop my relaxed ends off…because so many people in my life at the time saw natural hair as a bad thing.
In more recent times, I’ve had someone ask me why don’t I straighten my hair and another who tried to convince me to texturize my hair so it would look ‘softer’ but this is something that thankfully rarely happens. For the most part everyone is very accepting of my BIG COILY HAIR!
6 – Continuing on discrimination you recently spoke out about the Revolt issue and the fact that brands leave women of color out of their campaigns. How important was it that you spoke out about this?
The lack of diversity among many brands is something that has been bothering me for years. But after seeing Revolve do it so blatantly time and time again I just felt like I had to say something. I do have a platform, and though my platform may not be that large, if I am able to bring awareness to something terrible that is and has been happening in society I’m willing to share my views on it with hopes that it will help to bring about some type of change.
7 – I know it can be hard, making a stand against something especially on social media because we feel like our audience wants us to just shut up and post pictures. How do you decide what to speak about and what not to.
As long as there is something I am passionate about I’ll speak out about it. Thankfully with the emergence of Snapchat & IG Stories I can share my thoughts or rants there, while still continuing to share the photos that the majority of my audience probably wants the most.
8 – You got married a couple years ago how do you balance your brand and your relationship. How do you decide what to share and what not to share.
I’ve always been pretty private with my relationship. Not in terms of hiding who he is, but I’ve never seen the need to share the exact details of my personal life, especially the part where my husband comes into play. But over the past year I’ve opened up more with my audience which they couldn’t be happier for while still keeping parts of my relationship scared and just between me & him.
With regards to balancing my brand and my relationship thankfully balancing both has never been a difficult task. I’ve been able to maintain both my love life and work life simultaneously because when I’m working I work, but when I’m not…I stop working. I also have a very supportive husband who thankfully has been able to help me take my brand to where it is now. We get work done together when time allows, but home is our place to escape the day to day madness, and most evenings we set aside time to reconnect, unwind and recharge together. I also have a ‘no phones in bed rule’ that we ‘try’ to stick to. I like to think of our bedroom as our sanctuary so once we decide to turn in, the phones and laptops have to GO!
What I love about Natasha is how natural she is not just her hair lol, but nothing is forced. Her personality isn’t forced and even though I have never met her in person there is something so authentic about this young woman. Im excited to see where you are in the next five years Natasha because you are such a beautiful soul. But don’t take my word for it see for yourself.
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