#GirlDad became bigger than ever earlier this year with the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi. He left a wife and three other daughters behind, but he didn't carry the title of 'Girl Dad' simply because he had daughters. He was a dedicated mentor, a confidant, and a present father to his girls. Months later, his example has pushed us to really think about what the hashtag really means.
Historically, Black and Brown communities' relation to fatherhood hasn't been the greatest, BUT there are great fathers who break the stereotype and deserve to have a light shined on them. We spoke with solid daddy-daughter duos about the true weight that role carries.
Like the late legend, these dads are setting the standard for Girl Dads and showing us what it truly means.
Courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Dad: Don Terrell
66, Retired from General Motors after 40+ years of service
"The greatest reward of being a Girl Dad and raising four daughters has been watching them grow and matriculate into womanhood. From little-league softball games, Sweet 16s to graduations, and beyond, I was there for every milestone and will continue to do so. Supporting each of them in their endeavors and empowering them along the way has been my greatest reward.
Time flies and watching them learn and absorb knowledge, wisdom, and understanding to become intelligent spiritually grounded women, or as I call them 'Queen Warriors,' is my legacy and has been my greatest achievement as a father.
Unknowingly, in nurturing and championing their well-being, it helped me in many ways throughout my fatherhood journey and this pathway called life. My wife and I didn't have any sons, and people always reminded us of this, but it didn't matter to me because my girls are my everything. I know they will carry the lessons I've taught them from an early age across generations."
Daughter: Dontaira Terrell
34, Editorial Director
"Five years ago, I lost my mother after a sudden car crash while leaving work, which left her hospitalized for 14 months until she eventually succumbed to her injuries. Throughout this entire experience, I gained a deeper appreciation, a greater sense of gratitude and pride that I was chosen to be my dad's baby girl.
I consider my dad as a hero in his own right. When doctors assured him that pulling the life-support plug on his wife of 40 years was the only way to go, he relentlessly stood his ground and insisted it was not an option. With strength and sincerity, he stated, 'You may have seen a thousand cases like this, but my wife is rare. I don't have a thousand wives, and my four daughters don't have a thousand mothers.'
At that moment, my dad taught me the essence of unconditional love and the power to fight for what is precious to you. He is the ideal example and blueprint of my future husband and a true testament of self-sacrificing love. I believe parents should inspire to aspire, and in my quest to build and continue the family legacy, it is exactly what I hope to achieve.
He's the best grandad to his grandchildren, listener, provider, and mentor. But most importantly, he is always there. He is a constant force in my life that I can depend on, no matter what. From our Saturday morning daddy-daughter adventures growing up to our family dinners and road trips, I am grateful for that foundation that has shaped me into who I am today and the woman I am still becoming."
Courtesy of Christina Singh
Dad: Satro Singh
57, District Manager
"The greatest reward of being a Girl Dad is having joy in watching my daughter grow up. I coached and raised my daughter to be great at everything she puts her mind to. I remind her daily to be a strong woman and to have a kind heart, even if the world is unkind to her. Her accomplishments and resilience makes me a proud #GirlDad."
Daughter: Christina Singh
"I am proud to be my dad's daughter because I've observed his strength and flexibility to provide for our family. Since I was a young child, my dad worked multiple jobs to make sure my family was taken care of. As I got older, I became more appreciative of the sacrifices he had to make in order for our family to persevere. I am forever grateful and will always thank him for being the true definition of a dad."
"Having a girl is definitely a big reward. Being a father presented me [with] whole different experiences and perspectives I could never get before that as a man. It even allowed me to understand and learn about the strength of a women.
As a father, having to experience mixed emotions (especially when my daughter started to develop her own path and career) was a growing process. Imagine experiencing nonstop happiness and anxiety in all the same exact moments.
She has a different path than the one I know or the one I imagined for her. Especially when it is a path full of challenges, that she refuses to give up on... I can't hold her hand but that makes me love and admire her even more.
I'm a joyful dad to a joyful daughter. That's all I can ask for!"
Daughter: Hala Maroc
28, Personality/ Wellness Advocate- TheBadassBootcamp.com
He always taught me to be independent and to just go for it. But thinking back, there have been a few times when I really thought I was doing big things and had my big girl pants on... come to find out, he was secretly holding my hand the whole time!
Some of my most vivid memories would have to be in kindergarten when I'd fall asleep halfway through doing my homework and wake up to it finished! Or at three- or four-years-old when he put me on his lap to 'drive the car' knowing I wouldn't notice his knee doing all the actual steering. Or when he used to have me go across the street to a neighborhood bakery to pick up sweets and practice counting money and one day I realized he was watching me from our fourth floor apartment window the whole time just in case and even may have called the bakery to give them a heads up ahead of time.
I find him trying to still do that in my adult life sometimes and [he] may regret raising such an independent woman who GOT THIS! But I want to reassure him that everything I've ever accomplished stems from the confidence he instilled in me along the way."
Courtesy of Jelani Addams
Dad: David Addams
63, Executive Director
"My greatest reward being a Girl Dad is watching my girl grow into her power and potential professionally and socially. As early as primary school, my daughter was empowered to speak her mind and seek her solutions.
Providing the opportunity to become a peer educator in high school with NYCLU solidified her role as a spokesperson and leader. I am so proud of what she has done about the issues she cares about and how her writing has manifested her sharp mind and fierce dedication to justice and fairness."
Daughter: Jelani Addams Rosa
30, Senior Editor
"I've always been a very proud daughter. For as long as I can remember, I've always been a Daddy's girl and loved hanging out with him and picking his brain. To this day, he's my favorite person to talk about politics and current events with, I respect his opinion and point of view so much.
I can think of so many moments where I was proud to call him my dad, but the most recent is when he was honored by the NAACP for his work in the community. I know all of the amazing ways my dad has shown up for me—30 years of nonstop unconditional support and love.
I'm always floored when I think about the fact that in between making the time to be an amazing father, he's always found the time to be an amazing person, to think about people outside of his immediate circle, and come up with concrete ways he can be part of the solution. It's always been important, but in times like this it's invaluable to have a David on your team, I'm just glad I get to call him Dad."
Courtesy of Kim Cortes
Dad: Angel Cortes
66, Retired Maintenance Worker
"My biggest reward of being a Girl Dad has been having a daughter that I could be affectionate with and loving. Someone who allowed me to loosen up and brought out a softer side I didn't know I had."
Daughter: Kim Cortes
30, Marketing Manager
"My dad has always been a hero to me. He was an immigrant from Central America who came here with a dream and hopes to create a better future for his wife and his children. After years of working and sacrifice, he finally paid off our home. He was the first homeowner in his family and did it all on a maintenance man salary."
Courtesy of Brittiany Cierra Taylor
Dad: Derek Taylor Sr.
62, Real Estate Entrepreneur
"My greatest reward being a girl dad is the sound of my daughter's laughter."
Daughter: Brittiany Cierra Taylor
33, Sr. Manager Audience Development
"I grew up a Daddy's girl and then our relationship shifted in my early twenties. I think I'm most proud of the effort I've seen him make in the last five years to be my superhero once again while we both give each other the grace to grow.
I think as a Daddy's girl, you grow up thinking your dad's a superhero and when you find out he's not perfect, you're disappointed à la Molly in Insecure. Likewise, I think he always thought I was pretty close to perfect, and when he found out I wasn't, the same.
We were in business together which adds another layer of static. Since then, he's been super patient, willing to listen (we are both stubborn), and really just focused on my happiness. I first saw this shift when I moved to New York five years ago and then two years ago when my little brother passed. In those two years, we've traveled out of the country together (my friends still call him 'trip dad'), he's taught me new sides of the family business and I've actually been staying with him since COVID."
Courtesy of Soraya Joseph
Dad: Larry Joseph
63, Truck Driver
"Daddy is always right. I'm never wrong! (laughs). If her mother and I disagreed, she was always on my side, and ran to my defense. I'm serious!
True story—before her, I was afraid to even have a girl. But when I had her, it changed my life. I even wish I had more girls, you know? Girls are so special and fragile, and you have to really spoil them. And when they respect you (in return), it makes everything more worth it.
The feeling of having a daughter is indescribable. Because with a boy, even though you show them affection, you raise them to be tough. But with the girl, it's like, women are naturally strong, but also fragile, so you're afraid to do anything so you don't hurt them.
At the end of the day, a dad always thinks the girl is for them. The boy is for mom. We're sensible with our sons, but very sensitive about our girls. And very defensive and overprotective too. With limits, of course. It's charming. Having a daughter is the greatest reward. Especially when they're getting old, and they still call you 'Daddy.'"
Daughter: Soraya Joseph
31, Digital Content Director
"When I was younger, I used to be painfully jealous and territorial of my dad's paternal-like efforts outside of my brother and me. Like, I didn't mind if he helped other people, but I didn't want him helping them 'like a dad,' if that makes sense (laughs). I'm a mess, I know."
As I got older, I grew to admire my father's ability to impart wisdom and advice onto others and make himself readily available to the figuratively fatherless.
Once, I even witnessed my dad be late for work, because while having brunch at our favorite diner, a young waiter actually sat down mid-shift at our table, completely caught up in a convo with my dad. They spoke for nearly an hour, while I downed three more mimosas at the bar. Because of this, I've dubbed my dad 'the real-life Uncle Phil', since a lot of my friends and my brother's friends enjoy their conversations with him and seek his guidance. To this day, I get a 'What's your dad's number again?' text or a 'Can you ask your dad...' text from friends wanting his take on everything from buying their first car to general life advice.
In the end, I've learned that my father is a better father-figure than most men are fathers. While the younger me used to scold him for his friendliness, the older me loves and is in awe of it. Besides, at the end of the day, everyone knows girls are daddies' worlds. So, if he is a good father-figure, imagine being his actual daughter. He goes harder!"
Featured image courtesy of Soraya Joseph
Jazmine A. Ortiz is a creative born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn and currently living in Staten Island, NY. She started in the entertainment industry in 2012 and now works as a Lifestyle Editor where she explores everything from mental health to vegan foodie trends. For more on what she's doing in the digital space follow her on Instagram at @liddle_bitt.
This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.
When it comes to healthy hair care, there are a few things that will help you achieve healthy strands: a healthy hair care regime, hydration, consistent treatments, and scalp care. While scalp care is one of the most neglected practices, it is also one of the most important. Why? Because it helps promote healthy hair growth, clear hair follicles, and remove build-up.
When it comes to creating a healthy scalp routine, it helps to know exactly what you’re up against so you know how to specifically treat it. Two of the most common concerns are dandruff and dry scalp. It can be tough to decipher which is which, but here’s a quick breakdown: dry scalp is caused by a lack of moisture in the skin, while dandruff is caused by an excess of oil and yeast buildup on the scalp. Knowing that both of these are big concerns, SheaMoisture released two separate product lines to address both issues: the Scalp Moisture collection and the Anti-Dandruff collection.
Needless to say, if you tend to experience dandruff then I’d recommend you try the Anti-Dandruff collection. However, my biggest concern has always been dry scalp. A lack of moisture on the scalp can be caused by several factors like weather, age, and hair products to name a few. I’ve noticed that when I use certain gels or skip out on a deep scalp cleanse, my roots feel itchy and dry nonstop, which is uncomfortable.
The only way to relieve the discomfort is to properly wash and moisturize my roots, so I tried the Scalp Moisture collection and this is what I thought.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
First, What’s In The Collection?
The Scalp Moisture collection is a four-product line that includes a pre-wash masque, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and a moisturizing scalp cream. Each product uses moisturizing and strengthening ingredients like aloe butter and vitamin B3 as active ingredients to provide eight times the moisture. Together, aloe butter and vitamin B3 work to restore dry and brittle hair, as well as add relief to the scalp.
Now, let’s break down each product…
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Pre-Wash Masque may actually be the all-star of the collection. Using this deep conditioning masque is one of the best ways to target your dry scalp, restore hydration, and nourish your strands before shampooing.
I started by completely saturating my hair and scalp with water, then making small sections to apply the masque directly to the root. For my girls who have experience with relaxers and perms, it helps to apply the masque to your roots just like you would do with a relaxer. This way you can make sure you’ve covered as much of your scalp as possible while minimizing any breakage.
Pro tip: you can also use a color application brush to make this step easier.
After I completely covered my scalp, I massaged the product into my roots, used any excess on my strands, then left the masque in for 30 minutes. I was shocked by how moisturizing and clarifying my scalp and hair felt. One of the things that I love about the masque is the slip and how much softer it made my hair. While this is marketed as a scalp care product, it can completely transform your hair from dry and parched to completely hydrated.
In my opinion, the downside of this masque is that the quantity is too small for my liking. Truth be told, naturals go through deep conditioners faster than any other product (especially when it’s this good.) So SheaMoisture, if you’re reading this, we’d love a bigger jar.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Shampoo
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Shampoo is a gentle cleanser packed with the same moisture as the masque. The pearl-colored shampoo is lightweight with a serum-like consistency and a light and clean scent. The smell is pleasant, subtle, and not overbearing. When I applied the shampoo, I noticed immediately that it foams and lathers up very quickly, so less is more.
After applying the shampoo, I parted my hair and started at the roots to target as much of my scalp as possible. I recommend really taking the time to work the product and massage your scalp as much as possible.
Pro tip: using a scalp massager makes it easier and it feels amazing.
Once you start to massage your hair you’ll feel the product start to work. There’s a tingling sensation that might catch you off guard if you’re not used to it, but it’s not nearly as strong as other scalp products I’ve tried. I know some may not appreciate the sensation, but I loved it! My scalp felt clean, light, and breathable.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Conditioner
Like the shampoo, the SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Conditioner shares that pearly color and serum-like feel. It applies very easily while softening and moisturizing your hair. When I applied it to my hand, it gave my hands a lotion-like feel, which speaks volumes about its hydration capabilities. I also loved that the conditioner comes with a pump, instead of having to squeeze the product out – to me, it makes application easier.
I typically apply my conditioner to the ends first but because this is a scalp care product I started at the root and worked my way down to my ends. I did leave the conditioner in for ten minutes, although the bottle recommends leaving it in for three. The conditioner also provides that same breathable feel to your scalp. I honestly loved the relief.
Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Scalp Moisture Cream
The SheaMoisture Scalp Moisture Cream is more of a daily relief product for your roots rather than your overall hair. It’s great for providing moisture and immediate relief to a dry and itchy scalp. Just like most of the collection, it gives a light and breathable feel – without the tingle. The applicator bottle targets specific parts of your scalp and makes applying easier.
Pro tip: I typically just squeeze the bottle to wherever I need the relief and use the tip to massage it into my scalp so it doesn’t mess up the hairstyle.
Overall, SheaMoisture’s scalp care line lives up to its claims – it moisturizes, strengthens, and provides immediate scalp relief. I definitely recommend trying the Scalp Moisture collection for an affordable way to treat itchy and dry scalp.
Featured image by Krissy Lewis for xoNecole
Actress and singer Keke Palmer recently shed light on the 'breast milk discrimination' she encountered at a Houston airport.
The incident allegedly went down on June 16, when Palmer, who welcomed her son Leodis Jackson earlier this year with longtime partner Darius Jackson, revealed on Twitter that Houston airport employees ruined her mood as she was discretely pumping.
In the tweet, the 29-year-old elaborated that her aggravation stemmed from the alleged threats spewed at her, including potentially disposing of "over 16 oz" of her son's food.
"Breast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined my mood," she tweeted. "I should've popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16 oz [of] my [baby's] food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime?? I'M A MOTHER, for crying out loud."
\u201cBreast milk discrimination at the Houston airport ruined my mood. I should\u2019ve popped my tit out right then because the discretion and comfort of pumping is thwarted with threats to throw out over 16oz my babies food?!?!!! Why is that not a crime??\n\nI\u2019M A MOTHER for crying out\u2026\u201d— Keke Palmer (@Keke Palmer) 1686566225
It is unclear if the issue was resolved because Palmer has yet to release any additional details regarding the matter. Still, the Nope star's post was met with fans' support, and many shared similar stories about their experiences at other locations.
According to the official TSA website, breast milk and baby or toddler-related foods and drinks are categorized as "medically necessary liquids." This means those items, including break milk, formula, and puree pouches, aren't required to meet the carry-on regulations and can be transported onto a plane as long as it's in a proper bag.
In addition to those rules, it is also reported that it is legal to breastfeed and breast pump in public. Although different states have different laws, in Texas, where Palmer was allegedly discriminated against, a bill allowing women to pump in public areas was passed in 2019.
In light of Palmer's tweet and the controversy surrounding breast pumping and breastfeeding in public, xoNecole is sharing the stories of other high-profile women who have openly discussed their experiences, positve and negative, with breastfeeding in public.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama revealed during a Workplace Flexibility Conference over a decade ago that when her youngest daughter Sasha Obama was an infant, she was forced to bring her to a job interview because she was still breastfeeding.
The star disclosed that she feared she would have been disqualified if Sasha's presence was a disruption. But because Obama had interviewed with the president of the company, who also had a child, they understood the responsibilities of being a parent and gave her the job.
"I packed up that little infant, and I put her in the stroller, and I brought her with me. And I prayed that her presence wouldn't be an automatic disqualifier. And it was fortunate for me that, number one, she slept through the entire interview. And I was still breastfeeding — if that's not too much information. And I got the job," she said.
"But I know that I was lucky, number one. I was interviewing with the president, that had just had a child himself and was very understanding and open-minded. But I know that most folks are nowhere near as lucky as I was."
In addition to her speech, Obama advised a plan to give tax breaks or credits to nursing mothers to cover breast pump costs, but the opposing party, unfortunately, scrutinized it.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Another person who has discussed the stigma of breastfeeding in public is actress Jada Pinkett Smith. In an episode of her Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith revealed that she was mom-shamed as she tried to breastfeed her children, Jaden and Willow Smith.
The Girls Trip star explained that when she attended public locations with Jaden and Willow --who were respectively born in 1998 and 2000-- and had to breastfeed, she tried shielding it, but it became a hassle.
"I remember me, myself when I would be out with Jaden and Willow breastfeeding... I used to have that little [breastfeeding] cover. It would make it so difficult. They're in there [and] they're suffocating. I can't see them," she said.
Pinkett Smith added that the experience gave her anxiety because, at the time, breastfeeding in public was stigmatized.
"I had so much anxiety about it because back when I had them, breastfeeding was like, 'what? What are you doing?'" she stated.
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Feature image by Noam Galai/Getty Images