Meet Benny Harlem and his 6-year-old daughter, Jaxyn. The internet has fallen in love with this father and daughter duo thanks to the adorable and beautiful pictures they share on Benny's Instagram page.
Through his snaps, Benny, a singer-songwriter, artist, model and educator is redefining masculinity, fatherhood and what the world perceives as beautiful.
For the longest time, black people, especially black women, have been told by society that natural hair isn't beautiful or "professional." But over the past few years, a new generation of black men and women have been unapologetically embracing their natural kinks and curls, in all shapes and sizes.
Benny and his daughter are no exception.
Benny often rocks his hair in a signature high top fade cut, but sometimes also lets it all fall loose. In an interview with Paper Magazine he talked extensively about his hair and what it means:
"I'm hoping more men will find pride in growing their hair out and wearing it as a crown of glory. You look in the mirror and you see your crown.
For me, I look in the mirror every single morning, especially when my hair is up in the crown box type of style. It reminds me to stand firm in who I am and go out there. So I wear it proudly."
In the posts that he shares of himself and his daughter, Benny often talks about how important fatherhood is to him, the special bond he has with his daughter, Jaxyn, and the pride he feels being her father:
"That's real. I've seen a lot of hate because of the way that I look. Not even from the opposite race, but even from my own.
How I choose to wear my hair, how I choose to present myself, is not a typical look for black male at all. Especially with a daughter and a whole family – as a provider and artist.
But I stand proud in everything that I am. My hair is nappy as hell, and I'm proud of that."
"Like I said previously, I get a lot of love, I get a lot of hate. Even in that hate, we have to stay firm in loving ourselves, loving who we are, loving where we come from, loving our roots, loving the way that we look.
I have very, very kinky hair. I have to make it work for me. That's who I am."
"I don't look like the 'everyday black guy' and that's fine with me. I love the fact that I am who I am. Many men who look the way I look don't get the platform that I've been blessed with to showcase it.
I also hope I'm one of the ones who stands firm in my looks, as an artist, as a man, as a father, and so help other men come out unapologetically, with their hair and everything."
Thank you, Benny, for redefining masculinity and reminding the world that black families and black hair are beautiful too.