Leila Danai, a 4-year-old attending a preschool where she is one of the few Black children, demonstrated remarkable confidence in responding to a classmate’s negative comment about her hair. In a TikTok video that has since gone viral, Leila shares the encounter with her mother, Mildred Munjanganja.
Leila’s mother had previously discussed with her how to handle comments about her hair, given the racial diversity in her preschool. When a classmate expressed disapproval of her hairstyle, Leila responded assertively, saying, “I like it!” Undeterred by the negative remark, she continued, “He said, ‘I don’t like that hair — it’s crazy. And I said, ‘My mommy made it. And if you don’t like it, I’ll keep it for myself.’”
Leila punctuates her response with a bright smile directed at her mother. Munjanganja, visibly proud, praises her daughter, saying, “Oh, baby! I’m so proud of you. You stood up for yourself. That’s what matters. What matters is that you like it — it’s your hair.”
The video has resonated with viewers, highlighting the importance of instilling self-confidence and self-love in children, especially those facing situations where they may stand out due to racial or cultural differences. Leila’s poised response is celebrated as an empowering moment, emphasizing the significance of embracing one’s identity and choices.
The heartwarming interaction between Leila and her mother serves as a testament to the positive impact of fostering self-esteem in young children, equipping them with the tools to navigate diverse social environments.
Repurposed article originally published in Today