Black women and girls have a storied relationship with their hair. Society does too. You can read numerous headlines here and abroad about how children and adults alike were punished, embarrassed, or fired over their kinks and coils. Most recently, actress Gabrielle Union made headlines after revealing a large part of her dismissal from a major network’s talent show was due to her hair. It can make what naturally grows out of your head hard to love. If you have silky blonde, auburn, or red tresses, it is likely you’ve never had or never will have such experiences for those hair types have been the (unattainable) standard of beauty for black women pushed on them by society.
“Hair Love, an animated short film from Matthew A. Cherry, tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time.”
After watching the film, it is hard to deny the emotions I felt. Happiness, sympathy for the little girl, Zuri, and sadness and empathy for the mom whose crown of hair is gone due to means beyond her control. I loved that the dad’s hair was natural in the form of locs, another natural style that is yet to be fully embraced in corporate America. Hair Love shows that whether you have a head full of “coilies” like the little Zuri or none at all, there is still something to be embraced.
If you watch through to the credits, you will see the mother’s evolution as her hair begins to grow back. You may also spot some notable names. Issa Rae was the voice of “Mom” and Jordan Peele was a co-executive producer. This is the perfect film to watch and use as a tool to facilitate healthy discussions regarding afro-textured hair.