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Good Hair


August1991

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Chris Rock made this documentary. If I understand properly, it is in limited release (in Canada of all places) pending a release in the United States. One cinema in Montreal is showing this movie. I saw it on a Saturday afternoon and several black women showed up after the trailers. We all laughed.

Barbara Frum, the mother of David Frum, said that good reporters should "Tell me something that I don't know, about something that I care about." I wonder. "Good Hair" told me something I didn't know about something that I didn't care about - and now I'm amazed. (I talked to a black friend about this movie and she looked at me blankly, then told me that she hadn't cut her hair in 10 years.)

Forget the stupid CGI dark science fiction cartoon movies now all too common. If you're white and suburban, if you want delightful reality, go and see this movie. It's funny, and real.

Edited by August1991
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The official trailer for the film.

...it does indeed look very interesting. Chris Rock is a smart guy and a funny guy and always has something interesting to say on the subject of being black in America.

About a month ago, I was very near to starting a thread on the same subject as Rock's movie. At the time, with all the Lictor-related unpleasantness the board had seen, I decided not to.

This was what piqued my interest... Mattel Toys, longtime makers of the famous Barbie, have recently come up with new friends for Barbie to hang out with. They're African-American dolls, but unlike prior attempts, they're not just new paint on the regular dolls. These ones have visibly African facial features and come with a number of different skin tones. Mattel went all-out to try to make realistic representations of black women:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/10/25/the_line_the_new_black_barbies_wont_cross/

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091008/ap_on_bi_ge/us_fea_lifestyles_black_barbies

Commendable, right? Good job, Mattel? Well, only kind of.

It seems that a lot of people are upset with the dolls' hair, which comes in straight or wavy, but apparently no 'fro:

"Why are we always pushing this standard of long hair on our girls?" asked Gail Parrish, 60, a playwright in Alexandria, Va., and a mother of four grown children. "Why couldn't one of the dolls have a little short afro, or shorter braids or something?"

Wait a minute... why is Mattel being criticized for not taking the lead on this? What about actual black women who are supposedly role-models? What about Michelle Obama or Oprah Winfrey or any of a large number of singers and actresses who all have opted to straighten their hair?

It seems to me somewhat hypocritical to on the one hand hold up Michelle Obama as the new role-model for black girls and applaud her as being the embodiment of sophisticated style for black women, yet on the other hand criticize Mattel Toys for producing dolls whose hair-style seems to be patterned after Mrs Obama and every other black woman of note.

-k

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Chris Rock is being sued already for infringing on somebody elses "Good Hair-etage" film and screenplay.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33200833/ns/entertainment-access_hollywood/

This topic has been treated on and off again for many years in American media.....Spike Lee paid homage to the good hair, bad hair experience in "School DaZE".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtfEmTHeYNw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtfEmTHeYNw

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This topic has been treated on and off again for many years in American media....
Uh, I don't think so.

BC, I recommend that you see this video and then report back. Your posted commemts don't do justice to the Chris Rock video. There is more involved.

If I had a criticsm of the Rock documentary, ir would be that it spends too much time on an afro hair styling competition in Atlanta. (OTOH, the competition is funny, and visual.)

----

Different people have different lives. Left-handed people pay for their own scissors, just like people with astigmatism pay for their own glasses. Most women don't like short men. Is this fair?

Edited by August1991
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Different people have different lives. Left-handed people pay for their own scissors, just like people with astigmatism pay for their own glasses. Most women don't like short men. Is this fair?

I can relate to a degree... I used to feel a lot of pressure to get a tan, and I'm simply not capable of it. There's a widespread belief that pale skin is an indicator of poor health or of being a nerd who spends all day indoors. If I wore shorts I would hear jokes along the lines of "...blinded by the sun reflecting off Kim's thighs" repeatedly. And while nobody actually means any harm, it weighs on you. You begin to notice that people in tv and magazines don't look like you, they've changed that aspect of their appearance.

If you're black and female... it can't have escaped your attention that of all the well-known black women in our culture, and there are a lot of them, ...all of them have straightened their hair. When all of the people who're suppose to be your role-models have straightened their hair, doesn't that kind of tell you something?

For black men, it's different. Their hair is completely compatible with the short or almost bald hairstyles that most black men prefer. And, with the recent popularity of '70s retro culture, a gigantic 'fro is quite an attention grabber. And as you can see on Dick's profile portrait, it's quite dashing!

I don't feel any pressure to attempt to tan anymore. Probably mostly because I'm not in highschool anymore... but I also think that the attitude that a tan is a sign of health has diminished considerably. I would think that's just a result of ongoing trends. Perhaps at some point some pale model turned enough heads that other people thought "why should I tan when my own skin already looks that nice?" I anticipate that at some point before too long, some popular black woman will come up with a look that makes "nappy hair" popular. Maybe Chris Rock has provided that woman, whoever she is, with the moment of reflection to take that first step.

-k

Edited by kimmy
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Uh, I don't think so.

BC, I recommend that you see this video and then report back. Your posted commemts don't do justice to the Chris Rock video. There is more involved.

Sorry, but must respectfully disagree. Chris Rock hasn't even been alive long enough to understand the depth of this topic beyond Jheri Curl. I have lived it from the 1950's.....and it about much more than hair.

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Chris Rock made this documentary. If I understand properly, it is in limited release (in Canada of all places) pending a release in the United States. One cinema in Montreal is showing this movie. I saw it on a Saturday afternoon and several black women showed up after the trailers. We all laughed.

Barbara Frum, the mother of David Frum, said that good reporters should "Tell me something that I don't know, about something that I care about." I wonder. "Good Hair" told me something I didn't know about something that I didn't care about - and now I'm amazed. (I talked to a black friend about this movie and she looked at me blankly, then told me that she hadn't cut her hair in 10 years.)

Forget the stupid CGI dark science fiction cartoon movies now all too common. If you're white and suburban, if you want delightful reality, go and see this movie. It's funny, and real.

disgusting...

what irritates me is that they dare call their wigs "weaves" so as to pretend like their not using what we all know they're using... that's not hair... THAT'S A LIE YOU HAVE ON YOUR HEAD.

And to go from there to suggest (as chris rock does) that of course... its all whitey's fault is simply a stark reminder of the insanity of race relations in north america...

"if you're white you're alright, if you're nappy you're not happy"...

as if white people should give two craps about how ghetto dwelling "BAPS" wear their "hair"... and as IF black people cared what white people think! And then to say that "we beez opressin dem and stuff"... jeez!

another form of "reverse" racism and typical anti-white blame shifting...

I for one encourage black women to show their true form... stop trying to have blonde wigs "an den be hatin on us and sheeyut"

Edited by lictor616
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Chris Rock is being sued already for infringing on somebody elses "Good Hair-etage" film and screenplay.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33200833/ns/entertainment-access_hollywood/

This topic has been treated on and off again for many years in American media.....Spike Lee paid homage to the good hair, bad hair experience in "School DaZE".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtfEmTHeYNw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtfEmTHeYNw

AHGAHHAHAHAHA

that one girl calls the head black a "picaniny"

to which the black girl gloriously responds by calling the white girl a "barbie"

wow, what a comeback!

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disgusting...

what irritates me is that they dare call their wigs "weaves" so as to pretend like their not using what we all know they're using... that's not hair... THAT'S A LIE YOU HAVE ON YOUR HEAD.

A weave is a certain type of wig. There are several different types of wigs out there.

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