This movie is based off the best-selling novel, “Nappily Ever After” by Trisha Thomas. I have never read the book, but the mere fact that this movie stars Sanaa Lathan is enough for me to watch it.
From what I gather, this is about African-American hair, social acceptance, and self- acceptance. I mean face it, the battle with creamy crack (perm) vs. the natural look still takes place today. From Sanaa cutting her hair for the role and Tamar Braxton leaving the wigs behind, this makes for a healthy hair conversation.
I can definitely relate to the hair and swimming issue. I love to swim and I love the water, but having to worry about my hair has been keeping me away from the pool for a long time. I mean, I haven’t been swimming in ages even though I am natural now.
It’s a habit that I need to break-free from, but in the movie, Vi used the pool to overcome the stigma of being perfect, having straightened hair, and being someone she didn’t even know. It was beautifully portrayed and well acted by Sanaa.
Applying to real life:
African-American men and women are told daily that having braids, cornrows, or even locs aren’t professional or that they will never get hired for a job with their hair in its natural state. Has any of their white counterparts suffered the same fate about their hair’s natural state? Are they told their hair isn’t professional? No!
Even in the schools, African-American children are suspended because of their natural hair. Whether in braids, locs, or an afro, our children are being told daily that they cannot get an education when one has nothing to do with the other. Don’t get me started on the school to prison pipeline argument (that’s for another day).
Anyway, this movie is definitely prevalent and speaks to something that we may face one day whether directly or indirectly. At work or at school. Adults or children. I think all children of color should be taught to love their hair in their natural state. I mean, that’s the hair type we were born into and the hair type that came from our parents, right?
While we have women who chose to wear wigs and weaves to cover up their “napps”, I get it. Taking care of our natural hair can be a task that’s harder for some than others, but a task nonetheless.
I have been natural since Feb 2005 and loc’d since May 2012. I will never go back to the creamy crack (perm) ever again.
Hell, I just cut my locs to an acceptable length on 9/28 after 6.5 years of wearing them. They were long, heavy, and healthy, but also a task to deal with on wash days. 🙂 However, I understand the reason some women choose to cover up their natural hair, I just choose to let mine out.
Finally, I want to say that POC have gorgeous hair. It comes in all lengths, colors, and textures. Nobody should be made to feel ashamed of the hair they were born with simply b/c society doesn’t understand it. It’s hair! Not the same texture as yours or hers or his, but it’s hair!
Using hair as a way to derail children from an education is egregious and it really affects our children in many unseen ways as shown in the movie. It really screws with their ability to love and accept themselves, which is something they desperately need to know how to do despite what the society says, thinks, or does.
I recently saw an old story about a teacher that cut a 7-year-old girl’s hair in front of her whole class b/c she was playing with it. This happened in 2009, but similar things have happened more recently. See this story and this one.
Now, many parents would be angry, livid, furious to learn that that teacher was deliberately trying to embarrass and humiliate their child? What about how the child felt? She said she went back to her seat and cried while the other kids were laughing at her.
This teacher took the time away from her classroom education to humiliate a little girl and for what? That little girl will remember that moment forever b/c it made her feel bad. The punishment for the teacher? Oh, she got slapped with a fine. Dassit! A damn fine, but the emotional scar that child experienced will be there for a long time after that fine is paid off.
UGH! I hate what public schools have become today, but that’s for another day. ~C. Jaye
The point is to teach our girls and boys to love themselves and their hair in spite of what anyone else thinks or says b/c the love of themselves, in natural form, is what matters most.
What are your thoughts? Comment below.