I woke up this morning meditating on the following Bible verse/JFK quote: “…to whom much is given, much is required (expected).” With that said, I reached out to Kai Frias (Instagram handle ck_frias) just five days ago. Kai is a make-up artist, cosmetologist, and Deva Curl Ambassador. She is simply a beautiful woman, both inside and out. I reached out to her because I was interested in conducting an interview with her; an interview about her. She replied to me within a few hours with an enthusiasm that left me somewhat speechless. She agreed to do the interview via Skype. Skype?! I had not even suggested Skype! Honestly, I did not want to bother her and I had suggested that the interview be done via email for her convenience. However, this beautiful soul suggested Skype! So, here I am this Saturday afternoon (afternoon my East Coast time but it was morning her West Coast time) Skyping with this amazing woman. It’s one of many more interviews that I want to conduct with other women who have a story to share, or as I like to refer to it HERstory. Yet, I am so glad that she was the first one that I get to interview because it was quite an experience. Kai set the bar pretty high. I am so grateful that she took the time to do this. I hope that you walk away from this empowered.
My introduction to Kai:
So, as I mentioned when I reached out to you, Kai, the natural hair movement is taking over and it’s a great thing. We have so many influential women in the social media world who have the attention of thousands of followers. Many of these women do tutorials and some just post straight up continuous selfies day after day, which is fine. My feeling is that if someone is given the opportunity to be on that platform, they should do something impactful with it, something meaningful. I see that “impactful-ness” in you with your self-love movement. I think that what you are doing is wonderful and I love how your focus is on young girls because when we’re growing up, it’s a “make you or break you” type of deal. If you’re broken in your youth then you grow up to be a broken woman and it can take years to repair some of the emotional and psychological damage. So with that said, I love that you have the attention of thousands and that in between makeup and hair advice (and your gorgeous photos), you are sharing part of your heart and soul and I believe that it is making a difference. You remind people that half of the things that they see on social media could possibly be fake or photo-shopped or simply unrealistic. You emphasize that beauty comes from within. Young girls really need those kinds of reminders so that they grow up to become beautiful, strong women who can’t be broken when someone tries to bring them down. So how do you feel about what I just said Kai?
I agree. Growing up is not easy. I didn’t have those tools to protect myself from other people’s words & opinions of me. So of course, growing up, as you said, those things make you or break you as a woman and those things definitely carry on into your later years and I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want my daughter to be like I was. I hated who I was. I hated myself. I wasn’t accepted among my Polynesian community because I wasn’t thick enough. I don’t want that for my daughter. I started thinking about the bigger picture. I don’t want that for any girl. My following really fluctuates. I think that the more honest that I am, the more followers I lose, but then I’ll gain a lot more but it’s just because as you said, these young girls go on social media and they see these other women who look perfect and they have these unattainable goals . It’s about embracing your body type and loving all that you are. That’s really the message that I want to give to girls because the goals these days that others expect from us, that society expects from us, is unrealistic and I think that it is important for girls to know that it is okay to be exactly how you are.
Me: Kai, so where were you born?
Kai: I was born in San Diego, CA.
Me: Do you have any siblings?
Kai: Yes, I have a brother and a sister.
Me: You’re married, correct?
Kai: Yes, I’m married and I have two children, a boy and a girl.
Me: Who do you admire?
Kai: I admire Don Miguel Ruiz, he’s the author of "The Four Agreements". He’s an amazing author actually. He’s the reason why I started this whole Self Love and Acceptance movement.
Me: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Kai: My greatest achievement is definitely being a parent. It’s definitely challenging but it has taught me a lot about myself.
Me: What would you consider your biggest challenge?
Kai: My biggest challenge has been loving and accepting myself. By far that has been the biggest challenge because I realize that I really hated myself and I disliked who I was. I disliked a lot of things about me. It was really affecting my marriage. Accepting and loving who I am has made my marriage stronger and has made me a much better person. It’s my biggest challenge but also an accomplishment at the same time.
Me: What has been the best advice that you have ever received?
Kai: The best advice that I ever received was from my dad. He once told me, “Shut the F*** up and get your “sh** together. The world doesn’t revolve around you”. (Needless to say, Kai & I were laughing at this point).
Me: What is one of your pet peeves?
Kai: One of my biggest pet peeves is not getting credit. I think that especially now in social media, whether it’s giving hair tips or make-up tips, or what not, and this may be petty, but it takes a lot of time to do these things for other people and sometimes I feel like they’re taking the rug from under me.
Me: What has been a major turning point in your life?
Kai: My major turning point was when I had kids. You have three boys, right? So you know. As soon as I had my son, because he’s older, I was like “Wow, this is a big lifestyle change.” It also changes in terms of the people that I hung out with. I realized then that a lot of my friends weren’t really my friends. They were just like, “Oh are we going out?” Those “friends” quickly disappear once you have kids.
Me: If you could go back to the past and visit yourself at any age, what age would that be and what would you tell yourself?
Kai: I was in sixth grade! I was about 11 or 12. I would go back and tell myself to stop worrying about boys. I’d also give myself a book. Ugh! There are so many things that I would tell myself, like “stop worrying about what other people think about you.”
Me: When did you fully embrace your natural self?
Kai: That happened last year. It didn’t happen long ago but it was such a strong and oncoming moment for me. I had these unattainable goals because I was going onto social media looking at these women that looked as though they were extremely perfect. My following has been really slow because I’m trying to transition outside of my physical being and it’s hard.
Me: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Kai: Ten years from now I hope to be giving seminars. Honestly, I have really thought about this. I want to be giving seminars at different high schools and middle schools, speaking to young girls about my whole self-love movement. Society has us thinking we are too fat or too this. It’s really f***** up. I see myself talking to young boys, even, telling them to stop stereotyping young women.
Me: How do you feel about the natural movement as it is happening right now?
Kai: The natural hair movement is a powerful movement. It is definitely moving rapidly and I have seen it grow in the past two years like it’s no one’s business. I think it’s amazing to see some women be strong enough to do a big chop or just embracing their hair and transitioning to their curls or their wavy hair. We’re putting down the flat iron and giving society a big “F*** YOU!” Saying to society, “I’m not going to go with your standard of beauty!” The natural hair movement is definitely a step in the right direction.
Me: Who are some of your favorite naturalistas?
Kai: One of my favorites is bwatyouwant (Brit Watkins).
Me: OMG, I love her.
Kai: I frickin’ love her. She is my inspiration and the reason why I started embracing my natural hair. I remember running across her page in 2014 and I was like “You know what, F*** this! I’m not gonna straighten my hair anymore.” I would show my friends her pics and say, “Look at this girl’s hair! I’m not gonna straighten my hair anymore” and my friends would say, “Your hair is curly!?” I also love joyjah (IG handle), the girl from Belize. Love her! I feel like I grew up with her and I see her as my sister on social media. I’m so proud of her. She has made some amazing waves throughout our community and she’s just a beautiful person. I love her. Her freckles are just amazing.
Me: What are some of your favorite hair products?
Kai: Definitely Deva Curl. I’m an ambassador but I became an ambassador as a result of my love for them. I was using their products religiously and faithfully. I definitely love their original No Poo, One Condition Decadence, and their Super Cream. I was also using Miss Jessie’s Multi-Cultural Curls before I used Deva Curl. I love Miss Jessie’s, too.
This is only a glimpse of who Kai is. She is such a beautiful person. She wears her heart on her sleeve. I’m almost twice her age and I saw so much of myself in her. I am so grateful that she approached this 15 minute Skype session with so much enthusiasm and positivity and that her struggle and light came through the way that it did.
My Dear Kai,
As I mentioned on our Skype call, keep doing what you are doing! The ones who truly matter and need you are watching and they will stay with you throughout your journey. You have a bigger calling. Answer it because as I stated in the beginning of our interview: to whom much is given, much is expected. You got this.
P.S. Showing up to the Skype interview after just waking up (Cali time), with no make-up on, earns you serious brownie points! You are truly ah-mazing and a true natural beauty!
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