Skip to comments.‘Good Hair,’ Bad Vibes
Posted on 10/15/2009 6:32:00 AM PDT by flowerplough
Chris Rocks Good Hair is funny, very funny, but all the jokes come at the expense of black women.
Theres no question that in Good Hair, Chris Rock brings the funny. (Trolling the streets of Los Angeles, peddling black hair that no one wants.) Theres no question that he brings the outrage. (Showing a preschooler submitting to the creamy cracka chemical relaxer.) Theres no question that he brings the dirt, getting celebrities to tell it. (Nia Long on her fake hair: Weave sex is a little awkward.)
But while Rocks foray into the tangled web of black women and their hair, is indeed very, very funny, very, very outrageous, and at times very, very revealing, there are two things that he does not bring to the conversation: Context and compassion.
Which is too bad, considering that Rocks stated purpose for doing his documentary was his shock at his young daughters plaintive question, Daddy, how come I dont have good hair? Good Hair as in, blow hair, silky, nice, wavy, relaxed and nice hair, the type of locks not typically found on the heads of folks descended from south of the Sub-Sahara. The hair thing is a question thats long bedeviled black folks living in a post-colonial world, the subject of doctoral dissertations, books and yes, documentaries.
(Excerpt) Read more at theroot.com ...
The other Chris Rock doesn’t go into, perhaps because he is unaware of it, is that hair obsession isn’t limited to black women. White women, Asian women, Hispanic women — most women — have spent their lives trying to make their hair do something it doesn’t naturally do. In the 50s and 60s, women and little girls all over the country got permanents, an attempt to create curls where there were none — better living through chemistry. My mother has told me about the frizz factor. Then, long straight hair became the ideal, and millions of women slept in huge, orange-juice can sized rollers, and ironed their hair, to have long, smooth, straight hair. And all along, women of all ages have dyed, tinted, rinsed, etc. their hair in order to enjoy a color nature never intended. Go to Target and take a stroll through the mighty hair dye section and the huge hair dryer and styling section. Last time I looked there were more than a dozen contraptions for sale guaranteed to iron your hair smooth, and several varieties of curling irons and electric rollers to make your hair wavy or curly. This isn’t a black thang, it’s a female thang.
I like hair. Especially on women.
I have always wondered why a culture that makes a big deal out of being “black”, and which punishes its members when they “act white”, seems to have no problem with all of its females (or nearly so) wanting to have white women’s hair.
Great point. I think the same is true of skin tone. While many black women seek to lighten their skin, many white women bake in the sun or in tanning booths, or spray chemicals on themselves to make their skin darker.
The grass is always greener, I guess.
I agree to a point. A black woman wanting to have straighter hair, that is easier to deal with is fine. However, I do think that the idea that natural black hair is “bad” or “ugly” is a bad thing, especially when it comes to children.
I think we’d all be better off if we were more content with how God made us, and simply tried to take good care of the body he gave us.
It’s a great thing that the black community has solved all it’s major problems, so it can navel-gaze about something as crucial and relevant as black women’s opinions about their own hair.
I guess that’s one of the many benefits of the post-racial Dynasty of Obama.
Why would anyone watch anything that has Chris Rock in it?
I do a weave which for white women means that you sit and hand tin foil to the person coloring your hair and she weaves the tin foil and the paints the color on. In mid process its totally a bizarro tin foil hat but the goal is to make it natural so that you can’t really tell its been done. I try to keep my hair a bit this side of totally dishwater gray. I don’t perm because I have curly hair naturally and I don’t straighten because its not that curly. One of my favorite movie scenes is where Elle cross examines the victims daughter in Legally Blond about perms. I LOVE IT. Second favorite scene in that movie is the bend and snap.
“Good and Bad Hair”, a terrific musical number from Spike Lee’s “School Daze” (1988):
(Some of us white folks with frizzy hair do the hair-straightening thing, too..)
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