‘I grew up thinking straight hair was the most beautiful hair’ – an interview with Mylo Freeman
Mylo Freeman is the award-winning author and illustrator of the Princess Arabella series, which has been published in over 10 countries. Freeman, who lives in Amsterdam, is also the author of Hair, It’s a Family Affair, a children book that celebrates the beauty and diversity of black hair through the different styles found in one family.
In this interview, Freeman tells us more about her new book.
What inspired you to write Hair it’s a Family Affair?
I was inspired to write this story because I think it’s so important for young children to be proud of who they are. Identity is a big part of that and the way you look should be something to embrace. The variety of black hairstyle is incredible so writing a story about a little girl and her family gave me the opportunity to address all these beautiful hairstyles and the relationship between Macy and her family members.
Tell us about the central character Macy?
Macy is a smart, inquisitive girl who loves her family and loves to talk about them. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up, but for now she’s happy to go to school and play with her friends.
Have you got any childhood hair memories you’d like to share?
I grew up in a ‘white’ environment and my mom didn’t really know what to do with my afro hair. She used to cut it really short, which made me very sad. At the time, there wasn’t that much information about black hair when I was growing up and all the great hairstyles to go with them. Even though I’ve never straightened my own hair, I grew up thinking straight hair was the most beautiful hair. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize that each hair type has their own beauty!
The book shows off some fantastic hairstyles, how did you find them all?
I found so many beautiful, black hairstyles, there is such a wonderful diversity. I could have chosen many more and easily have filled another book! Of course, I looked online, but I also took a lot of pictures when I visited Nigeria which inspired me to draw some of the hairstyles.
We love Macy are there any more Macy stories in the pipeline?
I love Macy too! She’s such a happy, energetic girl. I named her after my own youngest daughter, who has a bit of her character. I’m thinking about a new book with Macy as the lead character, but I can’t tell you too much about it now…:-)