Meet your new Celeb BFF – The Slumflower

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From natural hair, to body image, to giving women that last push to block that problematic ex from their life, Chidera Eggerue – aka The Slumflower – is full of wisdom for women. With her blog and social media presence brimming with positive reminders of black self-love and confidence, she’s making her voice heard. She’s the internet’s BFF of the moment – and after meeting her, we predict she’ll be yours soon as well. 

Where did the name ‘The Slumflower’ come from?

The Slumflower: The Slumflower originated from me living in Peckham, where I’ve lived for most of my life – and it wasn’t always how it is now, ‘the place to be’! It’s changed a lot, but when I was younger people would joke about it being like a slum; I took on the name of The Slumflower because I believe I embody something beautiful growing out of a tough environment – like Tupac’s analogy of a rose growing from concrete. 

Why did you initially start your blog?

TS: The first perceptions I had of blogging was: ‘This isn’t for me, this is for white women’ – because the ‘blogosphere’ was very much dominated by white, middle-class women with designer handbags and expensive clothes – I couldn’t relate in any way. Blogging then was more about just speaking at, rather than speaking with your readers. I decided to be the change I wanted to see and started my own blog; I knew it’d be awful at first, but I’ve worked and built on it and it’s grown from strength to strength. 

What key messages do you want people to get from your work?

TS: I want to encourage black women to take charge of their identity, the way I did with mine. For example, in 2015 I decided to stop wearing a bra, and that was radical because I’m 32DD and they’re jiggly and not the perky, ‘perfect’ ones like Rihanna. No matter what you do, you’re always going to be criticised as a woman, so I just decided that I was just going to do what I wanted – and that comes down to my hair as well. I have traction alopecia, which is hair loss caused by perming and heavy braids – in the black community, there’s a lot of shame attached to having bald patches, but I’m deciding to own it because it’s a part of me, whether good or bad – I love myself no matter what.

You have such a message of self-love and confidence – traits that plenty of women (especially black ones) find that they struggle with. Where do you get all your confidence from?

TS: My confidence comes from knowing that no matter how I look, my value remains the same. I know I was created with intention, and that I’m meant to be here, so it’s not anybody’s place to make me question my place on this earth. But feeling this way has been a process – up until about two years ago, I doubted my intuitions a lot, as well as my worth. But I decided to remove a negative person from my life, someone who took advantage of my kindness, and realised that I needed to be my own form of support. 

You’ve been very vocal about your feelings on the natural hair movement and who’s leading it – care to expand?

TS: It’s all well and good having the girls who have long, bouncy curls getting involved and showing off their wash ‘n gos – but the girls with short, nappy ‘fros are the ones who are furthest from racially-biased beauty ideals; we have to push even further to embrace our hair. The 3a girls are part of the struggle, but they’re not the struggle – I just want to amplify the 4c voices too, and help redefine what beautiful natural hair is. Sometimes, afro!

Follow Chidera, The Slumflower on Twitter and Instagram: @theslumflower

Profile photo of Nicole Vassell

Nicole is Pride's Entertainment and Features Editor; favourite topics include Beyoncé, where to get dinner, and musical theatre.

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