Professional dancer Najla Gilliam saw the gorgeous Allure magazine cover shoot featuringÂ Zoe KravitzÂ and was inspired. Channeling the butterflies stylists decided to add to Kravitzâ€™s braids, GilliamÂ adorned her own hair with butterflies. Itâ€™s now a style she wears on the regular, and weâ€™re totally here for it.
The 22-year-old New Jersey native fell in loveÂ with the unconventional look. â€œI was inspired by mother nature and the beauty of the butterflies,â€ Gilliam said.
Gilliam says she hasÂ always marched to the beat of her own drum when if comes to her hair and her sense of style.
â€œI have tried to embrace my generationsâ€™ rebellious nature and nonconformism to what is supposed to be normal and pretty,â€ she says. â€œEveryone is beautiful in their own way.â€
She says that she does receive some staresÂ when she wears her butterfly braids, but that most of them are looks of admiration.
â€œMost people stare out of love and appreciation,â€ says Gilliam. â€œI appreciate the love people show me for being true to myself,Â there are so many nice people out there.â€
Her InstagramÂ followers also show love for her butterflyÂ braids too. One commenter wrote, â€œYouâ€™re myÂ inspiration.â€ Another added, â€œOMG you look beautiful honey.â€
But Gilliam admits that acceptance and self-love werenâ€™t always the case for her when she was younger.
â€œWhen I was growing up, in elementary school and in middle school, I wasnâ€™t sure of my style yet,â€ she says. â€œI didnâ€™t come into myself â€™tilÂ I was about to start high school, I saw Rihannaâ€™sÂ half-shaved Bob and IÂ decided to recreate it.â€
At 19, Gilliam became a professional dancer, and her career choice has allowed her to live both her professional dream and her style truth.
So whatâ€™s next for this enviably stylish woman? â€œI want to create a multipurpose space where young people can come in and feel free to express themselves, a safe-heaven for creativity in my community,â€Â Gilliam says.
We 10,000 percent approve.