Sunday, 15 November 2009

Good Hair

"If your hair's relaxed white people are relaxed, if your hair is nappy they're not happy" (best quote in the film)

So I watched Good Hair and I have to say that I was thoroughly disappointed. I was waiting for Chris to get to the part where he met up with some natural sisters who may of communicated to the audience how proud they were of their natural hair, but alas that part never came (there was one so called celebrity with natural hair featured). Instead the film was dominated by footage of a hair show where over zealous, self obsessed hair dressers were able to showcase their talents, this included a token white guy hairdresser who was seen to be a miracle worker with black women’s hair, but as you’ve probably guessed they only styled processed hair.

Another thing that I didn’t like about the film was that Chris also featured a segment on how much black women paid for weaves and ‘hair units’ going into the thousands! The only good thing shown in my opinion was they demonstrated how harmful the chemicals in relaxers are. A white scientist was shocked to learn that these chemicals were used on humans!

I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning (but I am). The marketing for this film made it seem as though the film was going to tell people that having natural hair was good hair, and take a subjective look at how Black women treat their hair. I was left thinking how stupid some black women are for spending so much money on their hair, and taking away from their natural beauty. The film only served to perpetuate that many Black women still are mentally enslaved by Eurocentric ideologies of beauty.

I’m not a Pan-African activist, and I’m not totally against weaves and wigs, but I do find it saddening when some women really totally rely on these things so much so that they begin to dislike their own natural hair. Being a black women who chemically processed her hair for 14 years, and has now begun her naturally hair journey, I can say with confidence that doing the big chop is a liberating and emotional experience.

Black women are very attached to their hair and it’s an important part of who they are; this at least came across in the film Good Hair. But what didn’t come across is that being happy with what God blessed you with and breaking through the years of ingrained social stereotypes of what are acceptable notions of beauty for a Black woman in a white world is a hard journey for a Black woman to take.

The natural journey is a journey that many Black women are not prepared to take yet, but I encourage you to think about it, it’s a journey that I’m taking and it’s hard sometimes to wake up in the morning and be greeted with a ‘fro but I see my ‘fro as me taking back my history, and letting my true black beauty shine through.

1 comment:

Brianna said...

It's like you read my mind. I had the same expectations and disappointment with the movie. At the time I was relaxed, but a far cry from the relaxed women in the film. It did not paint a good pic of black women and their hair in my opinion. And I didn't learn anything new other than hair came from India!