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When you think about hair and fashion, you think about creativity and self-expression. Many people think about competition and as many young people say, “stunting on everyone”, but I always try to refrain from such egotistical tactics for attention. However, after last night’s entertaining display of fierce hair and even fiercer modeling, maybe some competition isn’t so bad after all.

Like one of the judges from this years Black Beauty Expo mentioned, “These competitions are to show you where you stand, how you can be better, and what sets you apart from the rest.” In life, we don’t have many avenues to find the answers to those questions, although in some of our minds we think we know the answers. I was truly motivated watching each stylist give it all they had, in order to be ranked as great among their peers. It was also, fascinating to listen to the critical observations by this country’s most elite in hairstyling and hair care. Listening to them discuss each style in a detail oriented manner, ensuring that their criticism was not only positive but constructive, made me feel that each participant walked away with a gem that they could apply in their quest to come back next year.

The reason why I say this event was motivating is that too often I hold myself back from giving a true critique to my peers. More so valuing the friendship and not wanting to hurt feelings. However, like in the competition – Being the best isn’t about hurt feelings but the truth. I was inspired that it is possible to keep the respect of the masses, while still “keeping it real” with your counterparts. It will only aid them in the future, if and only if, they are receptive to the criticism in the first place. In the barber competition, the young man that loss, wasn’t filled with animosity or hatred toward the judges at all, as he extended his hand in a gracious manner thanking them for their evaluations. He was a gentleman, and walked away feeling like this has already made him better. Same thing for the young woman who did not win the complete look competition, she still got her due diligence, as she was able to perform a four-minute set at the end of the evening.

This was truly a remarkable experience, to be in a room full of creative minds that enjoy making the simplest thing our hair and face, into the most beautiful canvass their minds can think of. I encourage any hair care professional who is serious about taking their career to the next level to consider a competition. You not only test your skills and abilities, but you get a thorough critique of your work while finding out where you stand in the big leagues of Hollywood hairstylist and celebrity Make-up artist like Dr. Boogie. Do you want to stay in the kitchen forever? I doubt that. So look into getting into some local competition and raise your skill level, test your creativity, and make a name for yourself.

Another great part of the show was seeing Ms. Dee’s Couture, which I always can appreciate. She was also accompanied by Ms. Angela, which I think is also equally fantastic. Each model brought it harder and more dramatic each time they came out, representing their size demographic with a fierce attitude and stage presence that you just can’t get anywhere. Amazing clothes with amazing poses, it’s pretty much a wrap with how phenomenal this show was.

I looked at the faces of each model, wondering what was on their minds as they walked, displaying this season’s must haves of couture. They looked as if they were in their own world, strutting and not even paying the crowd any attention. A stance I know more women should take in real life. The people will either scream and holler in delight, or they will groan in indifference, but you still have to make it to the end with your three second pose, so what are you going to do? I would kill it each and every time, period. You can’t stop, you can’t reconsider; you have to march on rocking those clothes as if they were made specifically for you. Inspiring is an understatement when it came to this show. I simple loved it.

Thank you to Weldon Bonds for inviting us. He is a truly great person for putting together such an amazing event that connects so many beauty professionals together under one roof, with education and networking. It’s incredible and you should make sure this man is in your network.

Thanks to my winners that were able to make it out with GaptoothDiva.com. I appreciate you all. Look out for their feature interviews coming soon.

GaptoothDiva covers the 2011 Black Beauty Expo in RVA

For more inspiration Follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva

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