Sharee Miller Wears Her Fro – Artistically and Literally
"My biggest hope is to inspire little black girls to love themselves and their hair."
There is a rising frequency devoted to black self-love. It is beginning to overpower the hundreds of years that it was oppressed. With this vibrating frequency, hundreds of people across the country and world are speaking out, protesting and being loud to display the uniqueness in being born with melanin. The individuals who are keeping the vibration in motion are ordinary people who have been fired up with a spark, they’ve been brought to life and seek any avenue to express themselves. Sharee Miller, 25 of the U.S. Virgin Islands is a modern day Black Panther, except she doesn’t own a gun. Instead, she shoots with her paint brush, pencil and artistic creations. In wanting to break the colonial mental shackles, Miller has been leading a movement of black elegance through her candid display of black women living their everyday lives.
“I think that we need more realistic representations of women of color that girls and women can look at and see themselves in. I think the natural hair movement is an awakening in our community. It is a moment that speaks to me and I want to show it as I see it.”
The “natural hair movement” has, indeed, swept across the globe. It has instigated many women of color to allow their hair the freedom to grow as it was meant to. The thick and coarse curls of many different shapes has been, just like black skin, oppressed for decades. It made many women feel unattractive and they went through great lengths to straighten it out – literally. The chemicals used in order to relax curly hair can often times result in cancer. It is through this realization that many melanin filled women woke up and started to ask themselves: Why am I putting myself in danger to look like them?
“My biggest hope is to inspire little black girls to love themselves and their hair. Representation is so important and I know this from personal experience. I love seeing little girls with beautiful natural hairstyles. I wish I had these images when I was growing up. I don’t want them to get older and regret a perm or some other kind of damaging process. I want them to see themselves and know that they are beautiful. That is why I want them to see themselves in my books and my art.”
This creation (above) hits a chord in me, as I’m sure it does for many others. It reminds me of my own childhood when my mother attempted to comb my hair. It reminds me of my 10 year old niece who cries and whines underneath my sisters hands. It is a truth that is normally kept indoors and hidden. Until now.
“This drawing is based on my own experiences. I was also a tender headed child who had to be wrangled when it was time to have my hair done. A lot of my art is inspired by my own experiences and what I’ve heard that is relatable. Once I can connect to it I know others can, too.”
Miller comes from an artistic family (her sisters’ draw and her mother sews) but it was the big eyes and brightness of Sailor Moon that caught her interest. Around 8 years old, Miller remembers taking a piece of paper and holding it up to the television screen so she could trace the picture.
“I loved Sailor Moon as a child. We watched a lot of anime and cartoons in my house but anime inspired me more. I wanted to be a Manga artist for a long time and even made comic books that I passed around my middle school.”
As an adult, however, she is inspired by other visuals like political unrest, injustice and the Universe.
“Sometimes I listen to Podcasts. I just like to hear people talking. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. There are so many beautiful natural hairstyles in my timeline, I just have to draw them. Or ideas form throughout the day that I jot down and then draw when I get home. Stories are similar. I will write down my initial story idea and then just start drawing the parts I want until the story forms completely from my imagination.”
“Nothing is more vast and beautiful than space. It is the final frontier and new things are being discovered about it every day. I don’t know about you but this (above) reminds me of our hair. It is this new thing we are rediscovering. It is beautiful and vast and I feel connected to anyone else I see with it. I titled this image 'We Are All Made of Stardust' which is a quote from Carl Sagan. When I hear this, I think about how we are all a part of the Universe and connected. I wanted to show the connection that I feel with others who are also embracing their natural hair." ❤