I got the opportunity to connect with Niá Pettitt, best known as Nià The Light. Niá is a 19 year-old social media influencer from London who has inspired many around the world using major social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Facebook to promote self-love and women empowerment. Niá and her voluminous hair have caught the eyes of many throughout the years, and by her embracing her natural beauty, many others have been inspired to do the same.
How has it felt to be such a big influence on social media to women from all over the world ?
It is definitely something I didn't expect. I didn't start with the intentions of creating a movement, I just wanted to invest my time into something positive and fun.
What is FroDay? What inspired you to create such a beautiful movement for females from all walks of life?
It is a date where women come together to embrace their natural hair. I was given a school assignment in year 10 to create a video of something I was passionate about and at that time it was hair.
What are your plans to do with this empowering platform?
I want to build an empire.
How do you define self-love ? Why is it so important for women to find love within themselves, when did you realize this is important and that it matters?
Self love for me is that feeling when you look in the mirror and you dance, you sing, you pluck your brows, you do turns to see whether your butt is looking cute or your abs have come through, you spend hours perfecting your smiling and poses. It's that moment when a woman connects with herself and learns each and every part of her. It is important because if you don't love yourself, who do you expect to love you?
What made you put down the flatirons, and want to grow your hair out to its fullest potential?
I saw a picture of myself at 11 when I was 3 and wanted my baby fro back!
What are some of your favorite natural hair products? What products do you tend to use on your hair the most?
Deva Curl & Skimdo
Why do you think confidence is so important? What are some ways you've helped build your confidence over the years?
I think because it took me a long time to be this confident but I have my days when I don't feel it but then the moment of giving myself a pep talk and learning that everything is temporary is what uplifts me.
What can you say to girls that are facing difficulty with accepting themselves, and their hair?
This is just a phase! You will be fine.
What inspired you to major in journalism? What are some of your future plans after graduating from college?
I loved media in school so I took it into University. I will invest more time into my #FroGirlAdventures and frame my grad picture on my Mum's room lol because she has heard me rant about how boring school is for the last 2 years.
What are some of your hobbies/ favorite things to do ?
Spending time with my best friends is my favorite thing to do when I'm not working. I love working so much that it is now my hobby! Being a social influencer is so fun but when I need a break I play music so loud and dance around the house or do a cheeky bit of online shopping in the sales of course.
We all go through teenage years, some more difficult than others, how we're you able to overcome and grow as a person?
Having my online platform helped me so much because it distracted me and gave me something to thrive towards.
If you had to write a letter to your younger self what would you say to her?
To my younger self,
Hi baby girl. Stop worrying about how different you are. It's actually very cool that your hair sticks up in assembly or that you shine so bright in the class photos because not many people have your complexion. Ok, yes; you have acne but it will go. So stop staring in front of the mirror everyday feeling sad. Please focus in school, I know the teachers always say you are just above average but that doesn't mean you have to remain it. Don't over pluck your eyebrows because they are sisters so you are blessed. Go spend as much time with your Granddad because he won't be here much longer and you know he's the heart of the family. Continue wearing your Apple Bottom jeans and your Baby Phat jacket, you are very cool. Clean the house so your Mum has one less thing to worry about and you embrace that big chop. I know you are 11 and you wish you didn't do it but one day you will travel around the world hosting events, empowering women who are twice your age to love who they are.
#NiaTheLight photographed by @ejatushaw