There’s nothing like watching kids running around playing without a care in the world. The freedom they have to express themselves without the burden of what society tells them they should do, be, or look like often makes us grown folks wish we were kids again. And that’s exactly the type of beautiful nostalgia present in a new project from Emily Stein.
The London photographer recently created Hairdo, a photo series of bright, bold images of first- and second-generation African and West Indian children rocking the intricately creative hairstyles our culture is known for. Stein was inspired by the hairstyles worn by black kids in her very own neighborhood and soon after decided to pick up the lens and showcase these tiny beacons of beauty wearing everything from mohawks to box braids, bantu knots to beaded cornrows, and tapered fades to Minnie Mouse buns. In short, they’re adorable — and inspirational.
Stein told OkayAfrica she captured kids right on sidewalks in and around the London area with one of her best friends.
“It would take days of hanging around scouting people as they dashed past, racing up to the kids parents explaining to them the idea of the project. We carried rolls of colored paper with us which we would throw up with tape on a wall nearby. It was all very makeshift.”
The resulting images are far more spectacular and capture the true essence of children’s carefree spirit and the fierce confidence that comes with it, which is exactly the end result Stein was going for. She told The Huffington Post:
“I wanted the photographs to have their own stamp on them, whether they were yawning, hiding or pouting. I would [want] people who look at the series [to] feel the positive energy of youth and the spirit of undiluted individuality.”
We feel it.
Check out all the photos on the next few pages.
Image Credits: Emily Stein