Let’s Talk About: Hair…”Nappily Ever After”

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Ok, so we all know about this movie (or, at least black girls know)…

Nappily Ever After: movie about a beautiful black woman who embarks on a journey of self discovery after a dramatic hair change.

Where to flippin’ start?!

I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon of things, but honey, I’m pole vaulting on this one!

I won’t give too much detail away, but I related on so many levels with this movie.  Not only as a black professional, but also as a black woman with ever changing hair styles.

I recently informed one of my friends about one cardinal rule in the black hair community: Don’t ever touch a black woman’s hair.  He “lol’ed” at me because he thought that an action like that wouldn’t be liked by any one (regardless of race/ethnicity).  While he is right to a certain extent, there is a distinct difference between a black girl having her strands intertwined in the fingers of a white person and what other non-black folks experience.

You’ll never see a black woman touch another woman’s hair unless she 1) knows that woman personally and they have the type of relationship where they can touch each other like that or 2) she asked and the “recipient” said ‘yes’.

What kills me is when you check the “other folks” and they justify their actions by saying things like, “Oh, but it’s just so cool!” or “I just had to touch because I wish MYYYY hair did that!” *cue eye roll*…

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I’m sorry Betty Ann, but just because something “looks cool” does not mean you should get familiar with it.  How would you feel if I just started touching all on your child because “they look so cool”? I’d be in handcuffs quicker than quick…

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Anywho, back to the movie…

It is definitely something that folks today need to watch – black, red, white, etc.  It touches on things that only black women can relate to while simultaneously educating others. There have been tons of videos of Sanaa Lathan (actress who plays the main character) participating in interviews about the movie; and one thing that she stated that probably resonated the most with me is that we are taught that hair equals beauty.

For so long, straight, long hair was the standard for beauty – anything aside from that was unkempt, ugly, etc. Luckily, the natural hair movement is in full force and we are no longer held to those standards, but sometimes those thoughts of “I’m not pretty because my hair isn’t straight” creep in.  If you were rockin’ a ‘fro, then you were dirty, unkempt and can’t take care of yourself. But, if you had long, bone-straight strands, well then honey, you CLEARLY have yo’ you-know-what together! Not…

I hope this movie does really really well because it touches on so many things that people don’t understand about black women and our hair.  It might make folks a little uncomfortable, but that means there is room for growth.

I’m definitely thinking of starting a Facebook group for folks and I to discuss because it was a good movie with sooooooooo many talking points! So have y’all seen it? If not, please do because it will bless you.

–Dee

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