International Women’s Day: Let’s address Black hair discrimination and misinformation

Moiro Sings

Moiro Konchellah (@moirosings), Kenyan-American recording artist, a soul singer and a songwriter.

Q: What does Women’s Month and International Women’s Day(IWD) March 8 mean to you?

I find Women’s Month and IWD are always an exciting and informative time! For the world to intentionally acknowledge the bravery, ingenuity, grace and influence that women have infused around the globe, is so necessary and fulfilling.

Q: In your opinion, why is it important to talk about and celebrate women’s month?

I absolutely love that we have a month, right? It is of utmost importance to celebrate and communicate with women, period. To learn from us, and to let us know that we are seen and heard. Not just women who are making headlines or making waves on the socials. Engage with the women in your family and community, aside from when you need them; your elders, your sisters, your neighbors, co-workers. I guarantee, women from all walks of life have both an “OMG” and a “WTF” story waiting to be heard. Sparking conversation is restorative for both the one sharing and the one listening.

Q: In terms of fitness, are there any cultural or generally women-specific issues that form a part of your life in the fitness world?

Black Women’s hair has always been a topic of discussion in fitness and sports. FloJo (her Everything was aMazing), Venus & Serena Williams, Gabrielle Douglas, Lia Neal and Alice Dearing, Sha’Carri Richardson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. 
When I decided to start training for my first 5K race, an immediate obstacle was how to maintain my hair health and hairstyle of choice, because I didn’t rock a “get-up-and-go” style at the time. 
That was over a decade ago, just shy of the natural black hair Renaissance of the 2010s, and though the world has made some definite strides toward accepting how a Black Woman’s hair grows from her scalp (and how we choose to wear it), we are still undoing decades of Black hair discrimination and misinformation in the world at large, and definitely in the fitness world.

Q: Any tips for how our community can continue to support and improve the lives of women? 

Special Focus on women’s health research
Gosh, there are so many ways to support and improve the lives of women. I think more intentional research needs to be done in regards to women’s reproductive health, and in particular, reproductive disorders like endometriosis, PCOS, and uterine fibroids, the last of which I’ve been walking through for the past few years. 
I have yet to hear about treatment plans that will permanently eliminate these 3 issues for women and humans with uteruses, beyond surgery.
It’s frustrating to ask multiple medical professionals why fibroids (benign tumors) grow on my uterus, and get the same response: “we don’t know for sure”. 

Q: What advice do you have for other women reading this blog?

Heal, Sis.
Inquire about yourself, treat yourself well, give yourself grace, honor your body, mind and spirit. If you can do amazing things with your tank on E, just imagine what you can accomplish when you show up for yourself, full and whole.

Favorite books by women authors:

I love the authors that my mother (hey Cartheda 💛) introduced me to as a child(my 2 classic faves):
  1. “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison.
  2. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston
Current favorites:
  1. “Children Of Blood And Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi
  2. “You’re a Badass” by Jen Sincero

Favorite songs by women artists:

**Shameless Plug Alert😊**
Asking a recording artist to narrow down favorites is a big to-do! So I’ll start at 
My favorite song that I’ve released to date is called “Know Us.” 
My fave women artists: India.Arie, Brandy, Whitney Houston, Tank (and the Bangas), JoFoKe, Alice Smith, Mumbi Kasumba, Somi, Sadé, BeMyFiasco, Frēwuhn, Anita Baker, Toni Braxton, and the dynamic Knowles Duo, Solange & Beyonce. 
This only scratches the surface, sheesh!
Favorite women lead podcasts:
  1. Strong Black Legends” by Tracy Clayton
  2. Ratchet & Respectable” by Demetria L. Lucas
  3. “Therapy for Black Girls” by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford

--Happy International Women's Day--