North Texas traffic anchor Demetria Obilor gets up in the early hours of the morning to deliver a traffic report for WFAA-TV, rocking her gorgeous natural hair all the while. But unknown to the anchor, there was a little girl on the other side of the screen getting up early too to see someone with hair that looked just like hers on television.
On Thursday, Obilor invited her “mini-me,” 4-year-old Karsyn, to join her on the set of her “News 8 Daybreak” morning broadcast so they could celebrate their natural hair together.
“Growing up, I didn’t see any news anchors with curly hair or natural hair or even braids,” Obilor said during a Facebook live segment for WFAA-TV. That’s why she understands that for Karsyn, seeing a woman rock natural hair on television is “a big deal.”
The 4-year-old’s story first came to light on Sunday when her mom, Tiffny Jones, posted on Twitter about how the child would watch Obilor on television and say, “Mommy ... look, my hair is like Demtria Obilor from TV.”
Photos of Karsyn’s beauty and self-assurance touched Obilor. A few days later, the mother and daughter joined the traffic anchor on television for a special segment.
Karsyn, who was full of energy, helped deliver the traffic report for Thursday morning right next to her role model.
Later on, Karsyn and her mother joined Obilor for a Facebook live session to chat about how to care for natural hair and how important it is for little girls to see themselves represented on television.
“Representation ... in society is just so important for us,” Jones said on the segment. “I want her to see other people in the media that look just like her and for her to just rock it and be proud and embrace it.”
Obilor herself has faced racism in the past for her natural hair. While she was working as a traffic reporter in Las Vegas last May, she reportedly received an email from a viewer who ridiculed her hair. The viewer claimed he had to “fast forward whenever [Obilor] comes on” television.
Obilor posted an image of the email to Twitter, describing it as a “racist, hateful” message.
On Thursday, Obilor emphasized that it is crucial to make sure young black girls are encouraged to feel positive about themselves. She was struck by Karsyn’s confidence.
“She’s such a confident girl, and that’s so important to instill at such a young age,” Obilor said.
Jones said that even though it’s a “struggle on a daily basis” to take care of her daughter’s natural hair, Karsyn doesn’t want to do anything different with her hair.
“She loves [her natural hair] because she likes to shake it,” the mom said, laughing as the little girl demonstrated by waving her head side to side.
“We tell her to be herself. Do not let anybody put you in a bubble, you do whatever your heart desires,” Jones said.
Watch News 8 Daybreak’s Facebook Live segment with Karsyn below.