Meechy Monroe, Chicago blogger on black beauty, dies at 32

4 weeks ago

 

Chicago Tribune
After an unflattering but fateful haircut in 2009 led Meechy Monroe to chop off her chemically handled hair in prefer of a brief Afro, women on the road could walk up to her and ask how they may get their look to resemble hers.

“People might come up to me and ask what I did to my hair,” Monroe advised the Tribune in 2014. “They’d ask to touch it and I’d allow them to. I understood that such a lot of black women failed to realize their herbal hair. They desired to examine. I’d forestall and feature a 20-minute communique within the train station.”

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Monroe blended advertising and marketing capabilities she discovered at Southern Illinois University with a preference to help human beings and released a YouTube channel with videos that chronicled her existence and shared tips on the way to achieve exceptional splendor techniques. That blanketed Monroe’s signature appearance, acknowledged to lovers as “the Meechy twist out,” wherein she’d phase her hair in bunches, twist it at night time, and let it fluff into a colorful Afro via morning.

Over time, Monroe’s YouTube channel gathered thousands and thousands of web page perspectives and extra than 43,000 people accompanied her Instagram. Her splendor weblog and natural hair advocacy inspired black ladies around the arena.

In 2014, she had a stroke, and docs determined a rare type of brain tumor. Her circle of relatives later positioned Monroe in hospice care and she or he died on Tuesday. She turned into 32.

Born Tameka Moore, she grew up on the South Side as one in all four sisters. “Mercy” was a high school nickname and “Monroe” become in part intended to awaken Marilyn Monroe, her sister Vaughn Moore said Thursday. Her father notion they should use a stage name to assist shield their privacy.

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“It becomes cute. It had a ring,” Vaughn Moore stated.

Monroe spent hours growing videos, trying out styles and blogging. Her mother, Patricia Moore, stated Monroe changed into usually popular in college and around the neighborhood, however, Moore becomes amazed and excited by using how a lot her daughter’s efforts took off.

“I had no idea that her popularity might develop to the extent it grew to, and the lots of humans whose lives she touched, not handiest due to the tutorials and stuff like that, however people quickly appeared to have fallen in love together with her due to her persona,” Moore stated. “She cared about humans. She cherished people.”

As her social media audience grew, Monroe began working with special beauty companies. Ken Burkeen, who runs Huetiful, a hair care agency primarily based in Atlanta, hired her and her sister Vaughn to essentially be cover women for the organization. When Huetiful released in Europe, the sisters went along and have been identified in Paris, Burkeen stated.

“A female inside the teach station became strolling down the platform…yelling ‘Monroe Sisters! Monroe Sisters!'” Burkeen recalled. “I suppose at that second they found out they have been (no longer handiest) influencing and touching lives in Chicago and Atlanta but abroad.”

Vaughn Moore stated her sister was “the mild of everyone’s existence that she touched.”

From 2014: South Side beauty blogger battles her way lower back from mind tumor
“People wanted to do extra with themselves because of her. They wanted to be stunning,” Vaughn stated. “They desired to go are seeking careers for themselves, travel, have pets, prepare dinner, and strive new things due to her and the influence she had in that area.”

In 2014, the Tribune profiled Monroe and her war with a brain tumor that impacts just 1 percent of U.S. Most cancers patients. Going via treatment modified her speech and potential to write, and took her hair.

Still, she shared an effective message for the sector.

“It’s only a new journey for me,” she told the Tribune. “I’ve found out to be pretty assured in my skin. Chubby cheeks. Bald head. It’s stunning. I even have to reveal different ladies — irrespective of what, you are nonetheless lovely.”

Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Leslie Schaffer, told the Tribune at the time that Monroe becomes “a totally terrific young woman. She’s vibrant and very caring.”

Monroe circle of relatives
From left, the Monroe family; parents Alexander and Patricia together with two in their daughters, Alexandria, 24, and Tameka, 29. Tameka Moore in her south aspect Chicago domestic Sunday, Oct. Five, 2014 getting ready for church together with her family. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)
“She’s as stunning at the inside as she is on the outside, and it’s a privilege to take care of her,” Schaffer stated.

That’s a factor made by way of other relatives and associates.

Monroe’s mom stated that optimism turned into just who she changed into. She called Monroe “the glue” that held their family collectively. With 4 women within the house, Moore stated, there has been a variety of chatter and “henpecking.”

“She changed into continually talking high quality and he or she hated negativity,” Moore stated, calling her a “peacemaker.”

Moore stated her daughter changed into resilient up to the stop of her warfare with cancer. Even even though she had emerged as disabled on her proper fact, she nonetheless remained hopeful to the give up. Monroe died in a hospice middle as her sister, Vaughn, held her hand.

“She became sturdy-willed,” Moore stated. “She became a fighter.”

Robyn H. Dragoo