Doesn't it seem like hair is on everyone's minds these days? I am very excited about that. I have always been obsessed about hair. Back in high school, my friend Pam and I could spend hours on the phone talking about hair, hair products and how to use them. The makings of a product junkie!
I am excited about Chris Rock's new movie, "Good Hair" that arrived in theaters this weekend. I was hesitant about seeing it as I've heard mixed reviews. I did not want to be upset leaving the movie. I was probably the only person in the world who missed Chris Rock's first appearance on Oprah promoting the movie. So I really had no idea what to expect. Knowing Chris Rock and how crazy he is, it could go either way.
Two things happened that swayed my decision to see the movie: Seeing Chris Rock on Oprah yesterday and hearing Dr. Maya Angelou on XM 156 talk about hair. Now if you know Dr. Maya, she is a no nonsense woman. If it were foolishness, I don't think she would embrace and endorse the movie as she has. When I saw Chris Rock's second appearance on Oprah yesterday promoting the movie, the negative feedback and its justification was, in my opinion, unwarranted and downright foolish! I understand not wanting to be the butt of a joke but the belief that mainstream America would now ridicule since secret hair routines of African Americans were revealed is absurd! Or the comment from "Shirley" that was read on the Oprah show that said white women's silky hair gave them an advantage over us and that's why our men wanted them? WTF? There is no secret to black hair. Chris summed it up by saying "secrets rot the soul"!
As a natural haired woman in America, I have other African Americans asking me questions like "how'd you get your hair like that?" or "is that a straw set?" or "can you comb your hair" or students asking if I'm African. Last time I checked, I was born in the USA. Heaven forbid that someone think I'm gay just because I'm natural. To each his/her own, but I've always been "strictly. . . you know! The most offensive comment/gesture ever made to me about my hair came from a relative who offered to give me money to get my hair done. I blamed it on the alcohol but I came close to using all the cuss words I knew and I know how to string them together and hurt your feelings, believe that! But I refrained and just stared at him with daggers in my eyes.
I think the big hoopla about this movie, though I haven't seen it yet, runs deeper than the movie. It's struck a nerve with black folks because we've rarely embraced our hair, especially in it's natural state. We were often put down and made to feel bad because of our kinky hair. We thought straight or silky hair would make us more likable. I know some real jack asses with straight hair.
What I hope for this movie is to open dialogue about hair, with other races and within our own homes. There are members of my own family who still don't like my decision to wear natural hair. But that is my choice. I have more freedom because I'm not sitting up in somebody's beauty shop all day to get my "hair done". I have more money because I don't have to pay someone to "do my hair'. However I do spend money on hair products so maybe I don't have more money! LOL. But seriously, we should take this movie as a one about acceptance. Live and let live.
I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and I will come back with my review.
Until then. . .
~Nappylicious & Proud