When we finally met in person I’m pretty sure it involved a lot of jumping up + down, squealing, Beyonce dance moves, and of course laughter.
Not only is Dianna a woman who is an incredibly gifted hair stylist (like y’all she’s the real deal), she loves God, loves people, and has committed her life to being an advocate for women enslaved in human trafficking. She is using her gifts, talents, and voice to impact the world in a very real and tangible way.
Dianna is magnetic, passionate, and a champion for the people in her life (myself included), and I am incredibly honored to have her as a cohort and friend.
Dianna you inspire me to want to change the world. You are leading the way. You my dear are a torchbearer. Love you more than you know,
Anyone who is free has taken their freedom for granted at some point. I’m sure you are taking your freedom for granted right now. You have the luxury of reading this blog right on your smart little phone wherever you are (hopefully not while you are driving!), or on your computer in Starbucks while drinking a $5 latte and not a thought crosses your mind about the people who fought for that freedom.
100 years ago, your freedom was fought for you by women who believed that it is our right to vote, work, hold office, have an opinion, and even to wear pants in public. We get to be thankful to those ladies everyday. Whether we leave the house in boyfriend jeans and no makeup, or glamed up and red carpet ready, we can choose how we want to look everyday. The women who fought for us were empowered and they were determined for their daughters, grand daughters and great grand daughters to be empowered as well.
I promise, this isn’t a political rant. I’m just painting a picture for you⋯
In countries like Cambodia, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, Mexico, and Thailand, women are not afforded the same freedom and opportunities we are here in America. I know this because I have seen first hand in each of these countries what it means to not be free.
Since 2011, I have traveled to developing countries with an organization called THE TRADE to teach the skill of hair dressing to women who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to have an education. It was my choice to begin my career as a hair stylist 15 years ago. I have always had a natural talent for styling hair since using all my mother’s expensive hair products on my Barbies at the tender age of 5. As much as my mom wanted me to attend some big 3 or 4 letter university and get my degree in something fancy, she allowed me to believe in the beauty of my dreams. She saw what gave me joy.
My dream was to make women feel beautiful, not just look beautiful. Now, my dream is to see women be empowered through a dignified career and making women in their communities feel beautiful. When a woman feels beautiful, you can see it. It’s more than a good haircut. When you feel beautiful, you exude joy and joy can’t be faked.
The ladies in our programs around the world have been abused, exploited, and trafficked against their will. There was no joy in them at all. We saw the beauty in each one of them that they never had the freedom to see in themselves.
Throughout the course of our training, the beauty that lies within each of our students slowly begins to surface. Their self-worth is being built. Their value is being shaped. They are no longer weak, but strong. Their trials turn into triumph. They are no longer victims, but victors. Their hurt turns to hope. When you have the freedom to hope, to love, and to live, you can be anything you want to be, which is truly beautiful.
Dianna a.k.a. Lady Dianna
Photos by: Me…Kat Harris
Make-up by: Melina Ruiz