by Irene Irene van der Zande
Executive Director and Founder, KidPower International
A couple of months ago, I was truly astonished when I opened my email. A message from free-lance writer Tara Parkinson asked if I was willing to be interviewed for a feature called “Curls Change the World’ in Curl, the magazine for curly-haired humans.
WOW! Four beautiful pages in Curl, the magazine for curly-haired humans!
WOW! I could have really used a magazine for curly-haired humans when I was a teen and young woman fighting with my frizzy, wild hair, wishing I could look like my smooth-haired peers.
Once when I was about 15, I got so desperate that I had a friend help me to douse my hair with Toni’s superperm and pull it straight. My hair got so straight that it poked and caused bruises. My curly-haired father was so upset that he couldn’t speak for a while (fortunately). I remember him glowering at me sitting defiantly at the dinner table with my super-straight hair. After silently serving ice cream to the rest of our family, my father gloomily pushed the container and scoop over to me so I had to serve my own ice cream. I looked so awful that I wore a cap to cover my hair until it grew out.
When I asked how they found us, Curl Magazine Publisher and Editor Stephanie Hinderer explained, “Because so many young people with curly hair get bullied, we searched online for organizations addressing bullying with curly-haired founders for our “feel like a teen again” issue. When we found you and learned more about Kidpower, we knew it was a perfect fit!”
Tara and Stephanie did an exceptional job with the resulting article, “Choosing Hope Over Fear! – including stories about Kidpower, our Emotional Safety Screen Technique, and even the cartoon with a character called ‘Irene’ from our Kidpower Children’s Safety Comics coming to accept her curly hair.
When I showed a fourteen-year-old friend the article in Curl, she asked me, “Why isn’t there a magazine just for MY kind of hair?” I explained that the other magazines were mostly for people with her kind of smooth hair. As Stephanie signs off in her messages…
Irene van der Zande
Executive Director and Founder
Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.