Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Hair (Trailer)

I can't wait to see this! I commend Chris Rock, my favorite comedian, for doing this documentary. This is truly a pet peeve of mind, because the very ideology of "good hair" has been ingrained in our minds through hundreds of years of conditioning by way of slavery, and the repercussions are still present today. It has caused self-hatred amongst many in the black community who feel they have to live up to many Euro-centric standards that center around having a slender nose, blond straight hair, and blue eyes. Historically speaking, slaves with lighter skin (aka house slaves) were usually given more privileges because of their likeness to whites. Today, many would rather go through unnatural processes to alter their appearance (hair relaxing, plastic surgery) than to deal with their natural features. Although I've never been, I seriously doubt that Africans straighten their hair (or feel the need to partake in any of these processes that may alter their appearance) for these reasons, or if they do it at all. So, I always wonder, are African American women doing this because they want to, or because they feel they have to...

The medias influence, as well as a lack of African American representation in the media, play a large role in shaping these conflicted mind states as well. Let's not get it confused though, although I believe women have it harder as they are expected to have certain body shapes and sizes, men contribute to this as well, as many of us would seem to be infatuated, solely with women who have Euro-centric features. Furthermore, how many jobs would even hire black women (or men) if they wore their hair natural? So, we not only put pressure on ourselves, but it is reciprocated back throughout society. Things like this leave me feeling very conflicted...


  1. OMG I cant wait to see this either ! And no, African Women don't feel the need to straighten their hair like African American women, but they are known for using skin bleaching creams and lotions to make their skin complexions lighter. Just as American slavery has, European colonialism in Africa has created social structures based on looks and closeness to whiteness.

  2. ^
    Good info to know, because I was thinking that colonialism would certainly have some psychological effects as well. I just wasn't sure of them.