As a child, I always wanted my hair to be just like Aurora’s from Sleeping Beauty.

The golden blonde, long, magnificent hair that dreams are made of.

I remember pleading my mom for it. Why couldn’t my hair be lighter?

I remember staring at my own hair and disliking its darkness.

I would pray at nighthoping that come morning, it would magically turn into the beautiful pale locks I so adored.

Obviously, this never happened and over time, I got over it.

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I don’t know if this transpired because I was disappointed my dreams didn’t come true, or if I just grew up.

Either way, eventually, the color of my hair stopped bothering me and I didn’t really think about it.

Until today.

My daughter and I were watching Moana when, out of the blue, she exclaimed, “Mommy! My hair is just like Moana’s! I love it!”

I smiled.

Her little exclamation reminded me of the time I yearned for something that, in my mind, was the epitome of beautylight-colored hair.

The time when I found my own long, brown hair unattractive and boring because it wasn’t the quintessential gold.

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When people told me my hair was beautiful, I ignored them.

Because to me, blonde was beautiful. That’s what I had always seen, heard, witnessed.

But this little 3-year-old of mineshe’s seeing things differently.

And I am grateful for that.

Yes, blonde is beautiful.

But so is brown.

So is black. Yellow. Green. Purple. Pink.

Any color. All colors.

And you know what, my little girl sees it.

She may not yet know the intricacies of human nature, but she is clever enough to recognize and realize her differences, even if they are exterior features.

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On the surface, she may have just noticed her hair is the same as Moana’s.

On the inside, though, I know she is on the right path.

She is becoming her own person.

One who sees differences.

One who appreciates individuality.

One who embraces diversity.

One who owns her uniqueness.

Sleeping Beauty may still be my favorite Disney Princess.

But the only person I want to be more like now is my curly-haired toddler.

She’s brilliant. She’s brave. She’s beautiful. She’s inimitable.

She is so, so loved.

Zehra Naqvi

Mama of 2. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Just getting by, one chocolate bar at a time.