Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Just Want to be Beautiful: Chris Rock's 'Good Hair'

 I have read reviews of  'Good Hair' written by people who have never seen the movie. I saw it and liked it. Rock approached the subject of black women and their unexposed struggles with natural hair texture using intelligence and a tongue in cheek humor.  For me, the movie was also educational.

I did not know that the hair from weaves came from Indian women and that the selling of their hair was extremely profitable.  Hair weaves are so expensive  that some black beauty salons offer layaway plans to make the process more affordable for their customers.

Also, I had no idea about the corrosive properties of sodium hydroxcide  present in relaxers.  A relaxer takes away the curl or kink in non-straight hair by altering its structure.  It breaks down its natural composition; if left on the scalp for too long it can lead to alopecia.  Unfortunately, I know about the alopecia part personally.

Many years ago when I was fourteen, I tried to relax my hair myself at home. The right side of my scalp was burned because I left the chemical in too long.  It never grew back and it never will.

Some men interviewed in the movie explained how it was important to approach sex with women with weaves differently than  women without them.  You see, a weave is attached to the head on braided tracks, and the weave is either sewn or glued onto the braided natural parts of hair.  As stated above it is also a very expensive process.  If a man were to run his finger through a weave he would feel maze-like tracks, and the woman who paid big bucks for that look would probably lose all interest in that man and any kind of sex with him.  So the man has to be carefully cognizant of where he will place his hands, if you know what I mean.

In the movie Rock does one of his silly pranks that sometimes reveal painful truths.  He visits hair shops trying to sell nappy hair from Detroit.  He was told it was worthless.  Absolutely no buyers.  I am from Detroit, and I have nappy hair.  Things have really changed.

In the seventies my older sister had a friend who wore a large afro wig over long fine hair that would not kink up enough to form into an afro.  Now most people want straight hair.  I wonder what it will be next?

Chris Rock was not ridiculing black women with this movie.  I think he was trying to show the world what some of us are willing to do to ourselves in pursuit of defined beauty.  He is a black man, married to a black woman with black daughters.  He is definitely qualified to discuss the subject.

All woman do things that are strange to please men and each other; they starve themselves;  there are way too many unnatural blonds; some of those high heels look like objects of torture.  I will never understand why someone would pay for boobs.  I wish I could give some of mine to someone who wants them.

There is nothing wrong with changing hair styles.  It is a matter of fun, style, and preference.  I just think we should all be aware of what goes on behind the scenes of some of the industries that are a part of our lives.  Oh no!  Now you know I like to eat.  Damn, damn, damn!

My sisters of all hair textures, sizes, and hues:  You are beautiful, and if you have fun changing and altering your features, then go for it.  Just know you are wonderful in your natural state too. 

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  1. Hi Judaye! Thanks for your take on Chris Rock's movie. I havent seen it yet and I'm wondering what black women think about it. We know that our hair is still a very sensitive subject for some of us, so I hope that people don't take offense and are able to deal with Chris' comedic interpretation. It's interesting that some women are shaving their heads to please others and other women are putting extensions in theirs to please others! In the middle is a billion dollar industry!

  2. Another disturbing fact I learned from the movie was that most of the money being made from black women's hair are not black. Maybe some people think that all of this information should not be discussed in public. Where should it be talked about? The rejection of natural hair by black women equals big bucks in somebody's pocket. Why shouldn't be ours? I think Chris was laughing to keep from crying.

  3. Sorry Anna Renee. I tend to run off the at the keyboard when I am upset; I start skipping and misspelling words. It upset me when I heard that people considered my hair worthless because they could not make money from it. I have not heard of any black women discussing issues about nappy hair, not even Oprah. I have read some reactions to the movie in which people blast Rock for discussing the subject in public. But they have no solution to the problem themselves.