Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979), professionally known as Mýa, is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, and choreographer. She is considered to be a world class beauty and highly sought after for a wide range of ongoing projects.
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Although she often wears her hair bone straight in a series of edgy hairstyles, twists and extensions, Mýa was born with natural curls which she fought growing up.
(Image of Mýa from Wikipedia.com - All Rights Reserved).
Although a major star renowned for her beauty, this was not always the case. Mýa felt far from beautiful during her school years.
I recently discovered an old issue of Twist Magazine from August 2001 in my hair library at Hairboutique.com which chronicled the star's years of feeling bad about her hair, looks and racial background.
Battling Self Esteem & Naturally Curly Hair
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In that issue Mya talked about growing up, her battles with self-esteem and dealing with her hair. Mya has admitted her issues with self-esteem and her hair continue even into the present time.
Constantly Teased About Her Curly Hair
She told Twist Magazine she was "constantly teased about her hair which didn't seem to live up to her classmates' standards of beauty. She also wore braces" which added to her feelings of being a target.
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The beauty noted "her thrift store clothes added fuel to the fire. Her parents' mixed marriage (one is black, one is white) made something she had no control over into a daily battle. As her self-doubt grew", she said she "retreated into her own world."
Bushy Hair Was Launching Pad For Hurtful Insults
The multi platinum recording artist told Twist "my hair was just out of control - naturally curly". She said back then "it wasn't an advantage" because "her bushy hair was a launching pad for one hurtful insult after another."
Mýa's hair was "just the start" of her problems. She told Twist "the biracial marriage of her parents made it "embarrassing to walk in public with them because I felt like an alien. People were staring at me." But the staring continued day after day. "I thought something was wrong.
Mýa Original Unibrow
Every part of Mya's life back then seemed to invite insults. "I had a unibrow. I was teased so much that I really started believing what people said about me back then. And it really hurt." Mya admitted to Twist "I wanted it to change, and I just wanted to improve myself in any way that I could. I studied hard, but I got teased for that. It made me stop raising my hand in class at times. I became isolated."
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Self Imposed Isolation Over Natural Curls & Other Looks Led To Success
It was in her self-imposed isolation over her natural curls, her racial heritage and her unibrow which led Mýa began to develop her talents as a singer and dancer.
Now a success in the music industry, she has always given back to her fans. Mýa was an official spokeswoman for the Secret to Self-Esteem program from 1998 - 2001. During her time with the program she spoke to girls around the country to help them feel better about themselves.
"When teens open up a magazine, they feel like they have to look a certain way for people to accept them," Mýa says. "One of the things I try to tell the girls is 'Hey, if you're trying to look like this, it takes five hours. Hair, makeup artists, stylists."
Continues To Encourage Young Women To Focus On Other Things Than Looks
Although she is no longer officially involved with Secret to Self-Esteem she continues to the present time to encourage young girls to focus on things other then their looks. Just like she did when she channelled her own personal feelings about her natural curls, unibrow and looks into her talents for singing, dancing, acting and writing.
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Mýa told Twist "I'm an entertainer, so I happen to be in a business that focuses on image, unfortunately," she says. "I realize I have the ability to influence young girls positively, but negatively at the same time. I like to go back and clean up the mess that keeps me surviving."
More About Mýa's Career Victories
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., her eponymous debut album with Interscope Records was released in April 1998, and sold over a million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single "It's All About Me" featuring Sisqo.
Her second studio album, platinum-selling Fear of Flying, was released in 2000 and became a success stateside and worldwide, with lead single "Case of the Ex" becoming Mýa's breakthrough hit, reaching number-one on the Australian Singles Chart.
A year after, Harrison won her first Grammy Award for the worldwide number-one hit "Lady Marmalade," a cover version she recorded alongside Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, and Pink for the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge! (2001).
Mýa third album Moodring was released in July 2003 stateside and eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Following several label changes, Mýa's often-delayed fourth studio album, Liberation (2007), received a download-release in Japan only and led to her 2008 Japan-exclusive album Sugar & Spice.
Having expanded her career to acting and product endorsement deals, Mýa has been engaged in product endorsement deals with brands such as Coca-Cola, Iceberg, Tommy Hilfiger, and Motorola and has appeared in films such as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004), Shall We Dance? (2004) and Cursed (2005).
In 2002, Mýa had a supporting role in the film adaptation of the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago, for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award.
As a philanthropist, Mýa continues to devote her time and resources to various causes. In 2005, Mýa founded TMATF: The Mya Arts & Tech Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing disadvantaged youth growth and opportunity through arts & technology education, where she serves as both executive director and teacher.
Mýa is also an advocate of breast cancer as her mother is an 10 year survivor. In 2006 & 2007 she collaborated with the Lifetime Television Network in the Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign, recording "My Bra" a song sold on iTunes donating 100% of proceeds to breast cancer research.
In 2007, Mýa was also the internationally featured artist in Heatherette's Fashion Show for LifeBall in Vienna, Austria to fight Global AIDS, hosted a fundraiser for Skool'd to aid homeless LGBT youth, and advocated gay rights by opening the Out 100 Awards.
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Please follow us on Twitter at: https://Twitter.com/HairBoutique. I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.