LIFE & COLOR: MEET CORAL

March 08, 2021 5 min read

An interview with MH Editor, Callan

MEET CORAL – the first mama on our yearlong Road Trip! Coral is a mom, wife, and content creator (@curlswithcoral) based in Philadelphia, PA. In-between keeping up with her one-year-old, Amelia, being married to a full-time musician, and prepping for a little boy, Elijah, due May 18th, we caught up with Coral to talk all things city living, body image, natural hair, and embracing a colorful life.

Tell me about your pregnancy & having your kids back-to-back!
We wanted to have our kids close together in age and we’re really excited! I can’t wait to see them bond together and just grow together as life progresses. This pregnancy has been very different from the first one. I’ve been sick more often and am experiencing more body changes.
 
It’s going by quickly though, and I think it’s because I’m so entertained by my toddler, Amelia, that I don’t have time to think about everything that’s happening with my body. I can already see her personality being a little more expressive than I am, which is amazing. I know she’s going to be a great big sister.


What brought you to Philadelphia?
I moved from Puerto Rico with my mom when I was 12—she raised me by herself. What lead me here was a heart condition that had to be treated in Philadelphia. It was a really tough transition. Becoming a teenage is tough as it is, but adjusting to a new culture and a new language on top of that is very overwhelming. It taught me a lot about embracing those tough times. Life goes on. 


What was it like being in a new city, trying to learn a new language?
I got lost on the SEPTA bus many times because I didn’t know how to communicate where I was going. There are a lot of funny anecdotes surrounding those times, but a lot of tears came with it, too. I was shy and didn’t want to ask for help, but I learned and here we are!


So why did you decide to stay and call Philly home?
It took me a really long time to call this my home because I still have an attachment to the island. But throughout the years, I found that there’s a community of Latinos here and it’s beautiful. Even miles away from Puerto Rico, I can still find our food and our language and our people. Obviously falling in love with my husband tied everything together. It’s a great city.
 
Each place you go, you’ll find somebody you can relate to in some way. The city itself has such a rich history, and I absolutely love that. You can always find me in museums or little coffee shops that have those old, cozy vibes. And when you go into Center City, you can literally find any type of food that you’re looking for—Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Asian.

IT MAKES ME FEEL REPRESENTED AND COMFORTABLE.

What inspires you?
I think my main inspiration comes from my mother. Seeing her work so hard to give us a life full of opportunity in Philadelphia has really given me the key on how to handle my own way of parenting.
 
Growing up, my mother worked full-time, but she also went to college. I remember being on campus with her, peeking into her classes. I don't even think that was allowed, but we didn't have a choice. There was no support system at the time. But I think what I got from those situations is that she tried to make it feel normal. You work hard for what you want, even if that means bringing your kid to college, you know what I mean? Life will reward you at the end.
  

What’s your favorite color?
It was blue for a long time. It kind of changes as I grow older. Right now, I would say yellow. It’s bright, it’s fun, it stands out. But I don’t actually wear a lot of color! I like my look to be a bit more neutral. There is some color in my home, but mainly because of my husband. He’s the extroverted one. Red is his favorite color, so we have a red couch.

What are you most grateful for today?
I think after last year, I'm thankful for just having life. Being able to say that I am alive; I am okay; I am well; I am healthy. It's a privilege nowadays, and I don't take that lightly. I think the fact that I'm here right now is a miracle.
 

To totally transition, can you tell me about your hair and embracing your curls?
I stumbled upon the natural hair community because I did not like my hair for so many years. I was straightening it, so it wasn’t as wild. When I actually started embracing it, that’s when it really resonated with other people. I’ve been able to grow an audience and community of other natural hair enthusiasts.

 
Does embracing your curls help you embrace everything else?
When it comes to self-esteem and body image, I don’t think there’s an end to it.

JUST BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT, I WAS FEELING GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.  IT'S NOT THAT I DON'T FEEL GREAT RIGHT NOW, BUT SEEING YOUR BODY CHANGE DOES TAKE AN EMOTIONAL TOLL.

Being in the space to speak about body image and positivity makes it a little easier to adopt the same thoughts about myself, but it doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I’ll put on Beyonce to hype myself up and we’ll get it rolling!
 

Has pregnancy changed your hair?
This pregnancy, my hair hasn’t changed that much, but for my first, I had postpartum hair loss. I kind of freaked out a little. Not only is this my job, but it links back to my body image. But it’s something that happens and is completely normal. I want other women to know that it could happen, and that’s OK.

What’s your favorite thing to wear right now?
Sweatpants and loungewear. I’m not a very complicated person to please. Anything that’s comfy or fits loosely. I absolutely love these clothes from Motherhood. Not only are they stylish, but they’re comfortable. The fabric used throughout Motherhood Maternity is super stretchy. Nothing feels snug or uncomfortable. I love the leggings and the blue shirt with the little flare. It’s really comfy and soft!


Follow Coral on her Instagram @CurlswithCoral

Catch up with our mama from the Motherhood Road Trip here.

And keep following the Motherhood Road Trip….next stop: Atlanta!



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