Meet Celai, an Influential Brown Girl, Runway Model, Author, Entrepreneur and Activist!
Celai West (pronounced “sah-LAY”), is a talented eleven year old STEMgirl who is making a solid mark in the fashion, runway, vlogging and acting industry. As stated on her website, Celai changed the industry standards when she became the youngest professional runway model to walk amongst an all-adult lineup in NYFW, at just ten years old. I first saw Celai killing her walk on the runway in an instagram clip a few years ago – I didn’t realize it was her until I began doing research after receiving her Influential Brown Girl submission. She had to be about 9 years old at the time and the confidence she brings to this stage was profound! (click here to watch)
Celai West is a Texture Activist and is actively working to help bring awareness and create change in the fashion and entertainment industries. She is pushing for the inclusion of kinky hair textures in the media as well as better training for hairstylists who are booked to work on sets with talent who have ethnically textured hair. She also aims to use her platform to show the beauty of her kinks & coils…because “ALL girls with ALL textures are beautiful and should be treated fairly.” #KinkyHairMatters
Celai advocates for change regarding the standard of beauty in the fashion industry. She is working to help bring awareness and create change in the fashion and entertainment industries. She prefers to wear her natural and boldly pushes the envelope, forcing those whom work with her to embrace her kinks and curls! When she looks at her favorite TV shows or goes to the mall, its not often that she sees girls her age with hair like hers and she wants to change that. Aside from loving the runaway for its fashion and glam, Celai wants to be an inspiration to girls who look like and have hair like hers. She was them to know that they are beautiful, no matter what mainstream media says or promotes. Most importantly, Celai believes that representation matters. She wants to be the face of fashion – she wants our skin and our hair to become the norm, not the exception, on the runway. She also doesn’t want her hair to be the reason why designers choose not to work with her.
Celai describes herself as confident – on and off the runaway. She loves who she is and believes she is the person God created her to be. What most people don’t know about Celai is that she is super clumsy and a self-proclaimed nerd! She loves to prove that you can never be too cool for school!
Celai is an Influential Brown Girl doing amazing things. We are super proud and deeply inspired by her tenacity and dedication to making a difference. We’re going to continue to keep our eye on Celai, we know she is destined for BIG things in the future! Be sure to check her out on instagram @celaiwest and @thechatychick. You can visit her online shop at www.thechattychick.com.
I had an idea several weeks back while scrolling through Instagram. I saw so many young and influential girls making big moves – socially and professionally. Initially, when thinking about how I wanted to celebrate Black History Month, I decided that I would try to feature as many influential brown girls as possible throughout the month of February. I put out a call for submissions and the response was overwhelming! There are so many #beautifulbrowngirls that deserve and need to be featured. What will seeing themselves being celebrated on a public platform do for their self-esteem? Their purpose? Sense of of self, pride, motivation and desire to excel? Instead of just featuring Influential Brown Girls during the month of February, I’ve decided to keep this as an ongoing feature on my blog and will feature, at minimum, 1-3 Influential Brown Girls a month. If you would like to be considered for a feature, complete this questionnaire and submit your image via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put the name of the beautiful brown girl you are requesting to be featured as the subject line.
-Kathleen Wainwright, Owner of Dear Beautiful Brown Girl