moxie girl

Hearing your child say she's ugly is heartbreaking. As parents, we see our kids' beauty, and every parents wants their child, girl or boy, to be feel confident and accepting of what they look like. But whether it's freckles, gap teeth, ears that stick out, or curly hair, if kids don't see themselves reflected on TV or in magazines, or even in the action figures and dolls they play with, it can be hard for them to accept that they look perfect just the way they are.

When mom Angie Nixon saw her seven-year-old daughter Natalie McGriff struggling to embrace her natural black beauty, she tried everything she could think of to show her that the color of her skin and the texture of her hair was not "ugly," as the girl had begun to describe herself. Though friends and strangers posted positive affirmations for her daughter on a Facebook page she started called "Natalie You Are Beautiful," it wasn't helping her feel better about herself. Angie knew she had to get more creative to help her daughter. Her solution: a comic book!

In the comic book, Natalie is Moxie Girl, a seven-year-old superhero whose afro puffs, the very things Natalie disliked the most, have special powers to fight crime. Angie and Natalie came up with story ideas for the comic together, and in The Adventures Of Moxie Girl, the fictional Natalie uses her superpowered afro puffs to fend off book-eating monsters who are attacking her local library. Not only did the comic help Natalie realize her own power, but it won a $16,400 cash prize from a crowdfunding festival in their hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, so more copies of the book can be printed. (Email to get on the list for news about the June release.)

Now not only does Natalie have much better self-esteem, the comic book can help more kids accept their own beauty. What would you do to help your child develop self-confidence? I bet there are kids out there with superpowered freckles, too!

Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who passed her unfortunately large earlobes down to her daughter. So far their only superpower is being a nice canvas for large earrings. Follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Image via Instagram