Gina Knight on Motherhood
You got into blogging before we really knew what blogging was. Tell us why you decided to create your own online space? Because I didn't see myself in any other media outlets, but in 2008 there weren't that many black women in the blogging space especially talking about natural hair and beauty. I was working for Aveda and getting into holistic living and products so I decided to share what I was learning.
What was your career background, I know it was something to do with hair but what exactly did you do?
I have a BA in Fine Art & Combined Media and like many art students I decided to work in a shop hahahaha. I was working on a beauty counter then got transferred to a salon, six months later I was running the salon and did that for 8 years. I worked in quite a few high-end salons and picked up some amazing skills from amazing stylists.
"I'm a black woman everyday, that's a bit like asking how my identity affects how I fry an egg, I just get on and do it".
You mention being a ‘stay at home mum’ on social media. Why did you choose to stay at home rather than resume your career?
I resumed my career, I was just creative in how I did it, I stayed home for 18 months before returning to the salon a few days a week, the rest of the time I blog and run a social media management company. I'm fortunate that I can be creative with my career and it means I'm home with Freya more often than not.
I note you have started a new business #TheWigWitch (I’m getting my coins ready!!). How do you fit this in with running a successful, regularly updated blog and being a mother and wife/ being in a relationship?
I just get on with it, I only post once a week on my blog, posting on IG is second nature to me now and I'm definitely just posting what I genuinely do so not much prep is needed. I run on about 6 hours sleep, that leaves a lot of hours in the day. All my hours are productive I'm a queen multi-tasker.
How is parenting divided in your household?
It's 50/50, my partner also runs his own business he's very successful at it. He works early morning and I work in the evening, he's a very hands on dad so it leaves time for me to do my thing.
You have spoken openly about being brought up by White foster parents. How did this impact your view of your identity whilst growing up?
It didn't impact it negatively, I grew up in South London, it's a melting pot. I always felt welcome at home and within my community. I never had a problem embracing my blackness regardless of having an unconventional upbringing.
How has your identity impacted your parenting?
I don't really get this question, I mean I'm a black woman everyday, that's a bit like asking how my identity affects how I fry an egg, I just get on and do it.
Do you think that being the Mother of a dual heritage child affects people’s perception of you and your identity? If so how?
I should hope not. People try to put you as a certain type of person, I'm just me. I met a man who is a good man, we did everything the right way. It doesn't affect my blackness that I have a biracial child. I get a lot of comments about this, it pisses me off. I can be a conscious black woman and love who I love.
How do you promote your daughter’s dual identity?
Dual identity? She has one identity she is biracial or mixed race, we need to allow her to identify as she sees fit. I can only be myself and her father can only be himself. Just by being we are sharing our cultures so I don't consciously make a point of it. She has a great mix of friends and family and she is bright. Sometimes I feel like a lot of people want to make biracial people pick a side instead of identifying as a mix of two amazing cultures.
"It doesn't affect my blackness that I have a biracial child. I get a lot of comments about this, it pisses me off. I can be a conscious black woman and love who I love".
You seem like a really confident and ‘together’ woman, how do you keep things together when you feel overwhelmed and how do you overcome online comparison (although we know we are doing it we all do it!).
I'm not that together, I share 25% of my life online. My life isn't perfect, far from it. I have ups and downs like most people do. I don't compare myself with anyone online, that's how I managed to keep doing it for so long.
What are your thoughts on the representation of Black mothers online?
I only follow positive people on social media so for me it's all positivity and light. I see nothing but baby wearing, breast feeding, conscious women on my feed because that's the space I choose to frequent, I don't let anything else into my head space.
What is the one thing you wish you had more time to do?
Travel and sleep
Clubbing or Fine dining? Both
Castor Oil or Coconut Oil? Castor oil for hair coconut oil for ski
Co-wash or pre-poo? Both
Museum or Park? Park
Lidl or Waitrose? Neither I shop at Aldi
SWV or Total? TLC
Books or Blogs? Books
Sweet Potato or Plantain Plantain
Catch up with Gina aka @naturalbelle here:
All images are from Gina's instagram page @naturalbelle