What do you do when you’re a young girl and are insecure about your hair? Write a badass comic book featuring a female superhero with her hair as her superpower to turn a negative situation into an empowering one, of course! That is what one 7 year old girl did, and it has made her a winner in more ways than one.
Natalie McGriff is from Jacksonville, Florida and together with the help of her mom Angie Nixon created a story about a girl with special superhero powers in a bid to empower herself and other girls like her. In a statement about the project, Angie says her daughter, like most young girls, had some insecurities about her looks, but their project helped combat that negativity.
“I decided to help Natalie write this book because she was having self-esteem issues regarding her hair and she hated to read. She now realizes how powerful and awesome her hair is and that in order for her to write a cool book, she needs to read more books and learn different words,” she said in a statement.
As a result, ‘The Adventures of Moxie Girl’ was born, a story which centers on a young black girl who hates her hair. But after using some magical shampoo, her curls develop special powers. She then uses her afro power puffs to fight for literacy and save the Jacksonville Public Library from scary monsters who are looking to gobble it up.
Not content to just create a story to boost her own confidence, Natalie and her mom wanted to make sure the story could reach many other girls, so they entered the world’s largest crowd-funding festival called One Spark in Jacksonville back in April, in a bid to win money so they could print out more copies of the comic book an distribute it widely.
The event saw over 500 project creators submit and entry into a variety of categories, but it was Natalie’s Moxie Girl comic book which took out the top prize in the Education category, earning her a cool $16,423.69 with a total of 1112 votes. As promised the comic book is now available for purchase on the website at the holiday price of $5.00 USD.
Natalie and her girl power project has been getting a lot of press since its inception and win at One Spart, being featured on the Melissa Harris-Perry show, HLN, Hello Beautiful and a lot of smaller news outlets, proving her story of overcoming self-esteem issues and insecurities is a topic that is resonating with people of all ages.
It is certainly a universal theme, one that Natalie hopes will encourage other girls who read Moxie Girl.
“She is now seeking to encourage, uplift and empower other young girls of color that may be suffering from low self-esteem by creating a children’s book which transforms what many may see as flaws, into super powers. The goal is create positive images of girls of color, causing them to take pride in themselves,” says a description on the Moxie Girl website about Natalie’s goals.
This is not the first comic book series we have seen which seeks to depart from the traditional notions of what a superhero looks like. The idea of allowing everyday people to see themselves is a powerful theme, which ‘Raising Dion’, a story of a single black mom raising a son with superpowers, does quite well.
Although it would seem young Dion with his super powers is the heroic one, it is in fact his single mother, with her powers of communication, balance, and love who emerges as the real hero, placing focus on a demographic in society that are not often given enough kudos for the super things they do for their families.
A quick search through the Moxie Girl Facebook Page shows so much positive feedback from parents and family members who are thankful for a comic book like Natalie’s they can share with their own children.
“My daughter was so excited to get her book. It was a surprise! After reading about your daughter’s book I just had to order. My daughter is the ‘queen of Afro puffs’ and has been asking lately why her hair isn’t like her classmates (Caucasians) or like mine (I am bi-racial) this book has made her want to embrace her hair and who she is more than ever,” writes one pleased mom.
We hope Natalie’s project will inspire many more young girls to love themselves the way they are, be empowered to know that they can do anything, and inspire others to create positivity they can share with the world.