By Winnie Gaturu

Yolanda Flournah-Perkins is a mom on a mission. She is the brains behind the first swimming cap brand to feature images of black and brown kids in a bid to motivate them to take more interest in swimming. The thought initially came when her kids aged 4 and 6 wanted some swimming caps, and she took them to the local retail shop and bought two. Once they got home, the kids were excited to put their caps on, however, when her daughter Bella opened her swim cap, she wasn’t pleased. She said it was ugly since it didn’t have a picture of a black girl on it. Yolanda told her that she would purchase one for her online, but she couldn’t find one featuring a black girl. After searching for two days, Yolanda realized that no such product existed in the market. That’s when she did something about it and Swimmie Caps was born.

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Swimmie Caps is a unique brand since it has images of black and brown kids printed on them. The images feature girls and boys with different hair textures and different skin tones. There’s even one with an image captioned unapologetically dope! It’s surprising to realize that no one had implemented an idea like this before. Representation is really important and just like Yolanda’s daughter, there must be many kids who feel like swimming isn’t for them simply because they don’t see an image that looks like them on the swim caps.

Yolanda Flournah-Perkins via IG

Yolanda’s main aim is to motivate black and brown kids to take up more interest in swimming. In addition, this is a great initiative that will contribute to lowering the number of drowning fatalities amongst black children. According to data from the Center for Disease Control, a black child is five and a half times more likely to die from unintentional drowning than a white kid. The report further shows that between the ages of 11 and 12, black kids are 10 times more likely to drown accidentally than their white peers. Overall, 70% of African Americans don’t know how to swim. Since most parents don’t know how to swim, they find themselves helpless when their child is drowning.

Swimmie Caps also seeks to empower African American kids and get them to love and embrace their own natural hair. Most of the images they see on the brands available in the market today are of straight hair which isn’t what African American hair looks like, especially when wet. Seeing a graphic or illustration that looks more like them on the swim cap is a great source of motivation. It makes the kids realize that they too can become swimmers and even pursue it competitively even in the Olympics and other water sports.

They even have them for boys too! (photo via IG)

To learn more or purchase a Swimmie Cap, visit their website!

What
do you think about Swimmie Caps?
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Winnie Gaturu is a writer, tech lover, mom, wife and student from Nairobi, Kenya. During her free time, she loves trying out new recipes, diy projects, filling in crossword puzzles and spending time with her family. You can catch up with her onyourhairandbeautywrite.wordpress.com.

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