We all know the power of a good face beat and hair slay. It can give something as simple as an extra perk in our step to forget about the day’s woes or even help build our self esteem and confidence. Natural hair care brand Diva By Cindy is channeling that slay power into empowering women who have survived domestic violence.
Twice a year, its founder Cindy Tawiah hosts a Diva Project pampering party inside a selected shelter where she and her volunteer beauty team provide hair and makeup services to women who are recovering from abuse to help facilitate in their healing. Our goal is to help them “transition back into society with confidence,” she said.
Cindy attributes self esteem issues go hand-in-hand with abuse. “A person is beaten or battered, what usually happens is their self esteem is what caused them to get in that situation. They don’t believe enough in themselves or feel that they are beautiful. So we go in there and show them that we love them, that we care about them, we support them.”
While she may start with beauty, her outreach extends beyond the makeover with wellness services and counseling. “We also host a motivational empowerment presentation and then we have a candle lighting ceremony where they are allowed to take a deep breath, blow out a candle and symbolically let go of their pain.”
Cindy also revealed the she, too, is a survivor of domestic violence. “I went through a lot of trauma as a child – you name it and [I’ve] been through it. And domestic violence in my later years. But, a true diva reaches back and pulls others up,” she said. “I do this using beauty as my platform.”
She hosted one of her events earlier this month in celebration of National Domestic Violence Awareness month with a volunteer crew of beautifiers, including Cindy who provided clothes, hairstylists Jerome Terry and Trayvaughn. and makeup artist Latoya Dennis.
So far, the project has impacted the lives of hundreds of women in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area and is looking to expand her outreach even further.
“I would love to have a beauty bus tour the country, going from state to state. 450 women is not enough. They have extreme makeover shows, but no one is rebuilding lives. That’s what I want to do with my product – to continue helping others.”
Click through for a few before and after images provided by the project. For more information or to get involved, visit thedivaproject.org.