Our Natural Icon Beauty for the Month of February is Krystal Tomlinson. Krystal is presently the PR Manager for the Digicel Foundation and have also shot up the ranks in Jamaican media in recent years. She has hosted across several platforms, including being the dynamic host of TVJ’s cooking programme, Nyammings and E-Prime. In the capacity of Social Researcher, she served as a panelist for the Gleaner’s live streaming of the recently held National General Elections.
She is such an accomplished young black queen that we could ask her so many other questions but we decided to focus mainly on her natural hair journey. We will definitely have to do another feature though as this Natural Icon Beauty is a force to be reckoned with and armed with a story that inspires many.
Here’s our interview:
NIB: Hey Queen, I’m so glad you agreed to be featured as our Natural Icon Beauty of the month. Please introduce yourself to our readers. (Name, age, where you’re from, interests)
KT: Krystal Amoy Tomlinson, 25, born at in Kingston and spent my formative years growing up in Greater Portmore under the care of a strong matriarchal team (mommy, auntie and grandma). I have one younger sibling who towers above me in height so he’s launched an advocacy campaign for me to stop calling him my “little” brother! 😀
NIB: Define your style.
KT: I’m adventurous but I venture mostly between understated elegance and simple chic. I hate tight clothing, although I’ll wear it, but loose is always a preference.
NIB: What do you love about your natural hair?
KT: That it’s all mine. I love that it best reflects my personality (locs and their association with social rebellion); I also love low-maintenance hair styles and locs give me that freedom. It’s not expensive to maintain and the messier the cuter they seem to look. It’s also an expression of my willingness to take risks in a space where conformity is preferred. At the time that I locked my hair I was already on television but some persons thought it would offend viewers and get me kicked off TV. Though that never happened, I wasn’t worried about it but it did take guts to challenge mainstream beauty standards and it helps to see 4 other women also dominating the media space with their bold embrace of the black woman’s mane.
NIB: Have you ever processed your natural tresses?
KT: I tried to process the front once…when I was 18…to put in some version of weave. I hated the way I looked with straight hair and bought an afro wig to hide it until my roots came back.
NIB: When did you decide to loc your hair?
KT: In 2012
NIB: Some people are under the impression that having loc is hard and expensive to maintain, is that so?
KT: Not in my experience because my intention is not to have it slicked back all the time so I don’t tighten it often. I like when it looks a little messy. It would be costly to style your hair every week, whether processed or natural, so it really depends on the beauty standards of the individual.
NIB: What’s your hair regimen?
KT: I wash, treat and style my hair every two weeks. I use the Mango and Lime suite of products, coconut oil and sometimes shea butter.
NIB: I’ve heard stories of women who have been pressured to process their hair or who have experienced harsh criticisms, negativity and/or even sabotage because they wear their natural tresses. Have you had any such experience(s) solely or partly because of your locs?
KT: No I haven’t…I don’t think anyone is brave enough to go there with me. LOL.
NIB: What advice would you give someone who is experiencing such pressure?
KT: Be bold in your beauty. You have to decide what makes you beautiful because you are more than your hair. Own yourself! Love yourself! Live yourself! The more comfortable you get with who you are, the less concerned you’ll be with looking like other women and conforming to social standards.
NIB: If you could describe your life, vision for your life, or guiding philosophy(ies) using three quotes, what would they be?
KT: 1. “Think generously, speak kindly, act fairly and live daily. Life is improved one thought, one word, one deed, one day at a time”
2. “Some people will speak kindly; don’t let it inflate your head. Some will speak unkindly; don’t let it deflate your heart.”
3. “Earn your success. If it’s handed to you , you may have to hand it back.”
NIB: You are such an inspirational young black queen and I know you are not one to live a life of regrets so what would you say was your most impactful failure or ‘mistake’? How did you rebound and what lesson(s) did you learn?
KT: When UWI (University of the West Indies) suspended my student privileges because of an exam riot that was led by myself and colleagues on the UWI Guild. I learned 2 things:
- As a leader you must be prepared to accept the praise and the punishment for the actions of those you lead. It’s a two-way street. If they succeed, you succeed. If they fail, you fail. You don’t get to opt out of the relationship when it suits you.
- Never out your name, face and voice behind a cause that you’re not willing to lose your reputation for. Thankfully, that was a cause that I truly believe in and so I was willing to accept the consequences.
Thanks for those sound words Krystal. I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview. It was definitely enlightening.
I know most, if not all, will agree that Krystal is natural beauty personified, with a bubbly personality and good sense of humour. I have no doubt, if she continues on this extraordinary path, she is due bigger and better things. No pun intended 🙂
Love & Blessings,
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Photography & Styling: @staciadavidson
Make up: @krystaltomlinson