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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Comedian Chris Rock said he was apprehensive about bringing his documentary about the black hair experience to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this week.
"Because I think this is the blackest movie ever made," said Rock, a producer and co-writer on the film. "So I was kind of scared to come to Utah, because it's so white."
"Good Hair" is chockful of interviews with celebrities and people who have unique hair - including Al Sharpton, Raven Symone, Ice T, Eve, Maya Angelou and Nia Long.
Several hair shows are featured in the film including Atlanta's Bonner Brothers gala and the irresistable "Hair Wars" of Detroit.
All types of woman instill witty insights about their hair from those under the dryer to those undergoing perms with chemicals that damage the scalp to those that pay thousands to have hair from India (Rock makes a trip to the Far East to track down where the exotic, silky black strains comes from).
So, the question is, why, do you think, black women (and by extension all black people) are so self-conscious about their hair?


Assertive Wit said...

Personally, I don't think Black women are any more self-conscious about their hair than any other woman. I went to cosmetology school and you'd be surprised how many WOMEN hate the texture of their hair or how their hair "acts". Growing up in California, I was privileged to be surrounded by women of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and I've heard everything from, "I wish my hair was naturally curly" to "I wish my hair was naturally straight"...from "I wish my hair wasn't so thin, limp, fine" to "I wish my hair wasn't so thick and full of volume". And these comments came from Asian, Caucasian, African American (Black), Mexican, and Indian women.

The word "nappy" and the phrase "good/bad hair" is actually universal in the hair world but for some reason African Americans (Black) OWN that word like it's their cross to bear on their scalps LOL.

But I am just speaking from my experience...someone else somewhere else might beg to differ :)

January 22, 2009 at 8:16 AM
Anonymous said...

I personally love my hair texture both natural and permed (can't stand the in-between stages though when the 'undergrowth' is coming up). If black women are self-conscious, it comes from years of hearing from the dominant culture about how bad, unmanageable and ugly it was; just one more thing that made african americans sub-human. As human beings, we find it easier to go with the flow than against it and in the case of african-americans, hair is so much easier to change (to fit the dominant culture) than say, prejudice, ignorance, racism, etc etc.

January 22, 2009 at 11:29 PM
Craigjc said...

Hmmm, interesting comments. I for one, love black womens hair, and the "undergrowth" is supersexy, as it is nothing more than baby hair!

January 23, 2009 at 6:48 AM
Ms. Bar B: said...

Yeah, I think it all boils down to the messages that we get from society and/or our own mothers/care givers. I can't tell you how many women I know who talk down about their daughter's hair. How many have told me that I need to put a perm in my daughter's hair, to which I always reply, "why the hell would I do that?"

We haven't learned how to be comfortable "just being ourselves". Shoot, many of us don't even know who we are to begin with. Constantly being told that we need to change ourselves to fit in, whether that be hair, body type, so forth and so on.

I'm looking forward to seeing Chris' film.

January 23, 2009 at 5:49 PM

2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB