Professional dancer Najla Gilliam saw the gorgeous Allure magazine cover shoot featuring??Zoe Kravitz??and was inspired. Channeling the butterflies stylists decided to add to Kravitz?€?s braids, Gilliam??adorned her own hair with butterflies. It?€?s now a style she wears on the regular, and we?€?re totally here for it.
The 22-year-old New Jersey native fell in love??with the unconventional look. ?€?I was inspired by mother nature and the beauty of the butterflies,?€? Gilliam said.
Gilliam says she has??always marched to the beat of her own drum when if comes to her hair and her sense of style.
?€?I have tried to embrace my generations?€? rebellious nature and nonconformism to what is supposed to be normal and pretty,?€? she says. ?€?Everyone is beautiful in their own way.?€?
She says that she does receive some stares??when she wears her butterfly braids, but that most of them are looks of admiration.
?€?Most people stare out of love and appreciation,?€? says Gilliam. ?€?I appreciate the love people show me for being true to myself,??there are so many nice people out there.?€?
Her Instagram??followers also show love for her butterfly??braids too. One commenter wrote, ?€?You?€?re my??inspiration.?€? Another added, ?€?OMG you look beautiful honey.?€?
But Gilliam admits that acceptance and self-love weren?€?t always the case for her when she was younger.
?€?When I was growing up, in elementary school and in middle school, I wasn?€?t sure of my style yet,?€? she says. ?€?I didn?€?t come into myself ?€?til??I was about to start high school, I saw Rihanna?€?s??half-shaved Bob and I??decided to recreate it.?€?
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 what?€?s next for this enviably stylish woman? ?€?I 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,?€???Gilliam says.
We 10,000 percent approve.