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A SUCCESSFUL Leicester based singer-songwriter has opened up about her past insecurities as a woman of colour, in a brave new social media post, where she describes straightening her hair in order to “hide her afro.”

Mahalia Burkmar, 23, shared her insecurities in an inspiring Instagram post released earlier today (March 16).

Picture: Mahalia Instagram

However, the ‘Letter 2 Ur Ex’ hitmaker went on to encourage her army of followers to “stay true to themselves” and implored them not to conform.

“Those of you who know me know I’ve always been one to go against the grain, but it’s not always been that way,” she said.

“When I was younger I used to really struggle with what it meant to be the ‘right kind of woman.’

“I thought being beautiful was looking like everyone else. I would straighten my hair to hide my afro, I would wear clothes that my friends were wearing even though those clothes didn’t compliment my body. I just wanted to be the same,” she told her 583,000 followers.

“I thought if I wore my hair in a certain style or got really good at beating my face, the boys would find me more attractive and the girls would want to be my friend.

“It wasn’t until I got older that I realised how insecure I was in my own skin. I didn’t really know myself,” she added.

Mahalia, is a British Jamaican singer who grew up in Syston.

In the past the successful singer has described the town as a predominantly white area with “a lot of racism.”

In her career, she has released several EPs and two albums, ‘Diary of Me’ and ‘Love and Compromise’, as well as acting in the film ‘Brotherhood.’

Her latest song ‘Whatever Simon Says’ is out on Friday (March 18).


Sharing a selection of pictures with her followers on the social media platform, Mahalia implored them to “stop conforming” and encouraged them to be their “truest self.”

“I love showing people who I am, and so if any of you are reading this and it’s relating to you, all I have to say is stop. Stop conforming, be your truest self, and don’t let everybody see you glow,” she said.

“Don’t dim your light to let others be brighter. This is your life and you only get one go around.”

To find out more about Mahalia, visit:

Alternatively, follow her on Instagram @mahalia

By Louise Steel

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