Good Hair, According to Chris Rock

Thanks to my friends at Palacinka and Bellasugar, I heard about a hot new documentary that sounds like a must-see for any Afrobella. By Chris Rock? Really?

You heard right — Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, has entered competition at Sundance. It’s getting great reviews, and according to the description, it sounds amazing and inspiring :

When Chris Rock’s daughter, Lola, came up to him crying and asked, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl’s head!

Director Jeff Stilson’s camera followed the funnyman, and the result is Good Hair, a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about African American hair culture.An exposé of comic proportions that only Chris Rock could pull off, Good Hair visits hair salons and styling battles, scientific laboratories, and Indian temples to explore the way black hairstyles impact the activities, pocketbooks, sexual relationships, and self-esteem of black people.”

And…. what conclusions does he draw while investigating the industry and trying to answer his daughter’s sad question of self-esteem?

What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.”

Well, well, well. Mr. Rock, I’m gonna need you and your beautiful little Lola to catch up with Afrobella, OK? And I’m gonna put this out there right now — I would love to interview Chris Rock about this film! It sounds like something that’s been long overdue.

Rock and his executive producer Nelson George elaborate on the issue in this AP interview, which reveals what every black woman knows, and what we’ve discussed on this here blog time and time again — that the hair thing goes beyond wanting to achieve Eurocentric ideals of desirability.

“It’s this whole thing about approval. That approval is not simply, `I want white people to love me.’ It’s like, `I need a job. I want to move forward, and if I have a hairstyle that is somewhat intimidating, that’s going to stop me from moving forward,’” said Nelson George, executive producer of “Good Hair.“”

Here’s a video of Rock discussing his film. Makes me want to see it even more!

Does this mean a new career track for Chris Rock? Do you want to see this film? What do you think will happen to terms like “good” and “bad” hair now that we’re in a new era of change?

** adorable photo courtesy of Concrete Loop!

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Comments

  1. I do want to see the film…I’m excited about it. I hope we eventually come to the point that if you have ANY hair, it’s all GOOD hair. We should embrace it all.

  2. I can tell Chris Rock exactly why his daugther asked the question…LOL Because she sees her mama in FULL WEAVE every day…of course she would question her own hair!

  3. Nikki went there…lol

    Bella, if you log into NP and check out the Napptural Hair forum, there’s a thread discussing this movie and it includes a post from a woman who recently attended a screening.

  4. I would like to see this movie. I think it is great that Chris did this, so many black women need to see this movie.

  5. flygyrl72 says:

    I definitely wanna check this out…not that it’s telling me something I don’t already know, all of us Black womyn have been there, on one side of the fence or the other, at some point in our lives…

    Good looking out Bella….

    @Nikki, funny, funny, & true.

    @LBell, I’m gonna check that Nappturality thread out….

    Peace.

  6. Wow @ Nikki. LOLOL. I think it’s an interesting concept. I’d be glad to see the film when it comes out.

  7. This is a great effort by Chris Rock, I hope this gets the push it needs so people know about the film.

    I believe the the hair thing DOESN’T go beyond wanting to achieve Eurocentric ideals of desirability. We as women want to look our best no matter where we live. But, here in America, we all know what the real deal is. White people run the companies and they control the money. White people are scared of African American being themselves, because this would mean less money and less power for them. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. We all know what the answer is. Yes, there are different problems and ideologies that stem from the root, however, the ROOT of the problem is still the same. We as black people care too much about what white people think. Period. If any one would try to say the root of the problem does not always to back to that, then I believe they are in deep denial. So I’m interested to see if Chris Rock really explores this from the root and beyond or if he just reveals that he thinks it’s about money now, yadda, yadda, yadda.

  8. Bridgette says:

    Yes, I definitely want to see this film. My own daughter has asked me that question and she’s only 4.

  9. “the bewildered comic committed himself to search the ends of the earth and the depths of black culture to find out who had put that question into his little girl’s head!

    I agree with the other poster. I hope he started this inquiry with his wife and her breast length weave. I don’t have anything against women who perm or weave but honestly, she is their female role model and if she won’t be seen in public without hair from India on her head then of course the girls are going to think that their own pretty thick hair isn’t presentable or “good.” I will be very disappointed if he doesn’t address this issue.

  10. thfromthabay says:

    Whenever the topic of “good hair” would make its way into our household, my daddy would say if its stuck to your head, its good hair. “Stuck” meaning by God, not by glue thread or otherwise, no hating cuz I love a good wig and a head full of braids down to the ankles ;)

  11. I would love to see this film. I feel sad for the little Lola and can only imagine where she got her hair standards from, watching mom? kids at school? TV? Its touching how he took this personal crisis and is using it to try to heal women/girls who deal with this issue.

  12. I really want to see this movie. I know it’s going to be tongue-in-cheek, but the topic is so weighted. I think it’s going to be a good look at the issue.

  13. Thanks for this afrobella…And regarding the ‘new era of change,’ I guess the verdict is still out on how long the Obama daughters can go with natural hair. Fingers crossed.

    I was happy to see that Auma Obama (Barack’s sister) rocked locks at the inauguration.

  14. It is truly ashame the way that society has tarnished the true image of beauty: hair & body. Look at this young sista, already caught up in this foolishness. :(

  15. Okay went to the link of the film…and the little one is getting a perm? I had one at that age too. I hope Chris takes a peek inside a natural hair salon and sees what women do to their hair when it’s not chemically straightened. That may broaden his perspective a little farther.

  16. @ Nikki: I was just about to post on this. Malaak (I think that’s her mother’s name?) was on this panel on CNN a while back talking about little girls’ standards of beauty and she said her daughter asked her why isn’t my hair straight like (mixed-race friend)? Malaak said well your hair is beautiful too. It really turned me off because this woman obviously has no idea how much daughters emulate their mothers at times and look up to them and see them as a standard of beauty to pursue. As Malaak was saying this, she had about, I’d say 4 packs of weave in (this may be a conservative estimate :-)).

  17. I CANNOT wait to check out this film. I live in Louisiana, and the concept of colorism and “Good Hair” runs deep around here. I know of entire families who will not marry or befriend anyone dark skinned in fear that it would taint the blood line. I will be glad when the concept of good hair and skin color preferences just go away. Good hair is on your head, bad hair is on the floor. Peace bellas.

  18. I would love to see this film. I have a LOT to say about this subject but I don’t have the strength as of yet, being as how I’m trying to work and all that. But Nikki’s comment is hilarious and so on point!

  19. HoneyBrown1976 says:

    Have any of you confirmed that his wife wears a weave? Or, are you assuming that a black woman can’t possibly have long hair? If it’s the latter, you will need more than this film to make peace with. I have long hair. Is it a crime? Or, will that bring more hate along with my fair complexion?

    In addition, I would like to see his film. Hopefully, he adds the aforementioned “hatred” in the film.

  20. I don’t think that anyone says that Chris Rock’s wife can’t possibly have long hair. I think what everybody who has mentioned the weave/non weave thinks is that Mrs. Rock wears her hair long and straight and should not be surprised when her daughter who has beautiful afro puffs wants hair that is, well, long and straight.

  21. Tired of the BS says:

    Really Chris?

    I’m am so tired of the black community analyzing and digesting what the bc considers beauty, “good” hair, colorism, yada, yada, yada.

    The folks that should run to see this pretentious movie are those that are rocking the weaves and sitting their 2 and 3 year old kids down slapping that creamy crack in their head.

    Side note: And the ones that should be sitting in the front row are the fathers, and brothers of those little girls. They’re the ones instigating and perpetrating the stigmas in the bc!

  22. To be quite honest, I know several black women, fair and not fair, who have long hair. And actually I don’t care if it’s natural or a weave, it’s not my head, and I can certainly admire it if it’s healthy without feeling envy or “hate”. I think the issue for most people on this blog is that it seems some people feel like you HAVE to have long, straight hair in order to be as pretty as possible and without it, well, you’re not as pretty as you could be. Evidently that’s a fact still or his little girl wouldn’t have come to him with that question. I would love to see this movie because of its historical perspective and how the feeling ties into the hair care industry; it seems a lot of research went into it, and I love history. I would be interested as well in seeing a movie about the feeling some Asian women have about their eyes and the eyelid surgery some have undergone. History and how it shapes us still is fascinating to me.

  23. As much as I LOVE Chris Rock (he’s the best comedian ever), I have mixed feelings about this film. Nevertheless I think I still will see it.

    First off, it feels like this is a film to educate white people because this is an issue that we are fully aware of as black women. An forgive me for forgetting the name but wasn’t there already a documentary movie made about the black hair industry? I guess I’m skeptical about its purpose. If its to create dialogue, guess what – we already DO that! On Afrobella, hair forums and in beauty salons.

    Next I fully agree that he should start by examining his wife’s feelings about her hair and her choice to wear weaves. We don’t need a movie about the hair salons, we need a movie about HOLLYWOOD! Why does Beyonce drape herself in horse-mane? Why does Tyra slap weaves on just about every aspiring model under the auspices of mentorship?

    And to Honeybrown1976 -there’s nothing wrong with having long, straight hair. But if you think that women can sew/glue long locks without sisters being able to tell, think again. You can always tell!

    So again, this film seems like a good idea but I’m not sure about the point. It will probably be popular at Sundance and enlightening to non-blacks but I’m not so interested in their perceptions of us (unless of course it means more appreciation for natural ladies in the workplace and for God’s sake on television).

  24. jasmine the jigsaw says:

    I am truly excited for this. I had to have a little chat with my seven-year-old cousin about this subject during Christmas break when she said something to me regarding straight hair vs. nappy/curly/wavy hair that made me want to scream at my aunt for giving her a perm in the first place.

    I have nothing against relaxers – I mean, I relax mine because I have a lot of hair and dealing with it takes forever and a day – but she’s *SEVEN*. I was eleven when I got mine and I didn’t even want it because of horror stories I heard. Luckily, I still have healthy, full hair.

    That question, “Why don’t I have good hair?” makes me want to cry, though…no little girl should be made to feel like she is inadequate because of some d*mn hair. Even though I was on the opposite end of the spectrum when it came to hair length, trust me, I had to deal with the B.S. too when it came to the poofy, *confused* texture. I just want to hug her!

  25. sandra G. says:

    Oh…I can’t wait to see this. “Good Hair” and Self Esteem: sounds good to me. Thanks Afrobella

  26. nikki ha!

    I want to see this film.

    I don’t think anything will change regarding good vs bad hair because of Obama’s election.

    If the wee michelles didn’t have a white grandmother I wonder if Michelle would have felt pressure to make their hair straighter. Remember the flack over the cornrows?

  27. Had a convo. with a co-worker yesterday about this…

    I’m on the fence about this one, as a black woman — and in the “age of Obama” — I think a lot of black comedians really need to re-consider what is/isn’t in good taste now more than ever…

    The black community is on the world stage right now, and things can be taken out of context and perceived as “the gospel according to black folks” just b/c one well-known AA person said it…

    I am def. interested in seeing the direction he takes with this and will support the project, but am also hoping that it is tastefully done.

    I know this may be going off on a tangent, but I think it applies here, too…

  28. Chris Rock did a stand up show were he stated that only three black people lived in his area. Jay-Z, MJB and his family. Which brings me to the conclusion that his children are surrounded by other child who look nothing like them.

    I bet you all his children’s friends have long curly or straight hair and are white or have fair skin. It’s hard to look in the mirror and believe that you are beauty when no one around you looks like you.

    I can only imagine the questions other kids ask them about their hair or skin. I’m 35 and I still have people ask me odd questions. “Why doesn’t your hair move when the wind blows” or the look of digust when you tell them that black folks usually only wash their hair once a week.

    A few years ago a little white boy told me that he liked my hair then he asked “What kind of hair is it?” I died laughing his mother looked like she wanted to crawl under a rock.

  29. It is interesting that practically everyone has stated an interest in seeing the film and their liking of Chris Rock. Well, I remember not too long ago when Chris Rock spoke very disdainfully of black women in interracial relationships. Not to mention he openly insulted our country’s first lady by saying a black women could never be first lady and that it would be a hindrance to Barack Obama in his quest to become President. Why in heavens name would black women run to support the film of such a despicable character? What is more, is it really a wonder why his daughters feel the way they do about their hair? Not only is their mother’s constant wearing of a weave (and trust me, black women know when it is a weave!)an issue, but let us not forget that her father’s outlook on natural haired black women may be influencing this too. I doubt Chris Rock of all black men was remotely interested in a dark skinned natural haired woman at all. Next on their plate is the issue of colorism because as far as I am concerned, his daughters look unapologetically black and are darker skinned than their mother. What does he propose to do then? Another documentary on the issue of colorism that is perpetuated by black men and women? If you ask me, no black women should spend a dime on seeing this film. It is not to educate us about a thing. It is to educate people who have no clue, and that is not black women. In addition, this issue is a very touchy thing that I believe Chris Rock is exploiting his daughter’s sensitive feelings for a profit. It sounds callous, I know. But, then again callous is a far cry from the stuff that comes out of Chris Rocks mouth. I won’t be seeing it at all, and urge others to do the same.

  30. I think the people that are opposed to seeing the film and saying that black women already know about this, are just upset about getting our dirty laundy aired. I think we just don’t want to reiterate the power that white society has over most African
    Americans. I believe a lot of us know, and A LOT of us do not know. The movie will be beneficial if it’s done right.

  31. O.k. I tried to make a comment and an error occured. Let me sum it up…

    I believe the women that are opposed to seeing the movie because black women already know about this, are disgruntled about letting our dirty laundry out. I think they don’t want to reiterate the power that white society has over most African Americans. I know for a FACT that a lot of black women DO NOT know about our hair and why certain people look at it and feel the way they do about it. This movie will be beneficial is done right.

  32. Ooh wee. I’ll just say this — I hope Chris Rock and the people behind this film read this post. Because you bellas are airing out some issues they need to consider! I appreciate all of you for imparting your knowledge and opinions. Happy Friday!

  33. I’ve seen Malaak a few times on tv. I’d bet my pinky toe she’s weaved up. No doubt. Too much makeup, too…but I digress.

    My daughter is the reason I am natural. She has beautiful curly hair, but she didn’t like it ’cause it was different. She wanted it pressed or blown straight…even though black folks always complimented her “good hair” or stupidly asked if she’s “mixed.” Anyway, because mine was permed bone straight, she wanted straight hair. I said to her that my hair was permed because it wasn’t “good” like hers. My own words stung me just like the words I heard as a child. Felt like daggers in my heart.

    From that moment on, I never permed again. My pretty child is fabulously curly and I’m deliciously nappy, going on 5 years now. It’s all good.

  34. I would love to see this film. I grew up like Lola asking that question( because it was always compared o my mothers silky hair).Thankfully my mother didnt instill that BS in me about good hair. Now I just dont care and its all about what makes me comfortable.

  35. Have any of you confirmed that his wife wears a weave? Or, are you assuming that a black woman can’t possibly have long hair? If it’s the latter, you will need more than this film to make peace with. I have long hair. Is it a crime? Or, will that bring more hate along with my fair complexion?

    In addition, I would like to see his film. Hopefully, he adds the aforementioned “hatred” in the film.

    Even if it isn’t weave. It is relaxed. FYI us naturals can have long hair too. My hair when flat ironed is two inches above my waist, right down the middle of my back. Relaxers and fair skin don’t equate to long hair.Being dark brings out hate too. You get hate from all colors of the spectrum within the black community, and lest not forget the history of brown paper bag tests within the black community which benefitted our fair skinned brothers and sisters.

  36. Oh yes, I need to see this AND bring my babies to see it, too.

    When my oldest was three, this lil caucaisian girl laughed at her beautiful afro, and it scarred her forever. I only recently got her to embrace her natural hair (she’s 13!) and it was just SAD that her self-esteem was wrapped around her hair.

    And of course, it doesn’t help that my side of the family are Afro-Latinos with “Indian” hair… she was such a sad and frustrated little girl because of this and nothing I said or did consoled her.

    I’m glad we worked through it, but wonder how many other moms have to go through this, too. Especially moms who are not African-American and have bi-racial babies.

  37. Thank you Afrobella for this article. I want to see this movie already!

  38. good hair is an opinion. there is no epitome of good hair. some people like curly, frizzy or straight. good hair what what you personally think is “good hair”. and unfortunately, it has been drilled into african americans head that “white people hair” or long shiny soft hair is “good hair” and that the sometime extremley frizzy or poofy hair of black people is “bad hair”. this is why we run to the hair salons chemically killing our hair by relaxing it every time we see an inch of frizz growing out or get our weave done every month. i personally feel as though “good hair” is thick manable hair. that is just my opinion. i wish us black women could one day be proud of our roots and heritage and stop killing ourselves to fit in. i love afrocentrics.

  39. I’m really excited about this doc! I’d been hiding behind shoulder-length relaxed hair for 18 years, which I kept long because people would openly tell me that they didn’t think that dark-skinned black girls could grow their hair out. (WHAT?! I know) I thought I was proving a point or something.

    I decided to go natural when my 7 year-old daughter started asking me to straighten her hair. She has adorable 3b hair and I am in LOVE with my 4c hair. Can’t keep my fingers out of it! It’s been an incredible journey for us to share and it’s made me more bold and has encouraged my daughter too.

    At times, she says that she misses my long hair, but I remind her that I love my hair just the way it is and it’s MUCH healthier in it’s natural state.

  40. I know chris rock can say some fowl things..I didn’t know he said that about our first lady. But at any rate I want to see the film. Maybe his involvement will open up black men’s eyes. I also know that so far everyone of you seem to be labeling this as an African American issue and it is not. All blacks all over the world deal with this..especially the men which i think is the most damaging. I will say that in certain cultures natural styles are more excepted and a few more men may find it desirable…that mental hold is still there as far as hair and colorism. but I’m sure everyone here knows that. Now as far as this being our ‘dirty laundry’ and the aspect of control the white perspective in the bc, I am not afraid of talking about it because that’s what needs to happen. I think it’s a byproduct of racism because of the belief that our hair is inherently inferior and of course it’s horrible when we take on these obsurd beliefs. Mental enslavement is just as horrible as physical. Maybe we are starting to wake up.. to that I say thank God! I hope. Chris Rock evaluate his way of thinking and that it played a role in his spouse choice.

  41. Oh and I think the control of the white perspective in their own culture is damaging as well. There ideal of the blonde bombshell and the whole blonde/blue eyes combo still haunts them, especially when it comes to the beauty ideal. I swear as soon as some of these stars loose weight they run and dye their hair blonde and some use their hair as an excuse to take on the stereotypes of that hair color. Now a days everybody is trying to work and resolve the beauty issues but these are new developments and old habits/ideologies die hard.

  42. Hello bellas & fellas
    Does anyone know where I can view this film in the United Kingdom or online?
    Many thanks in advance!

  43. mochachoc says:

    You know i think this whole ‘good hair’ debate only applies to women. I don’t ever remember that being said about men’s hair. I also think we can equate it with the beauty industry at large. If we can keep black women insecure about their hair they’ll spend a s**t load of money on products. And boy, don’t we.

  44. I’m not a fan of Chris Rock’s but I’m curious about this film. I think it would be received better if it had been done by a black woman instead of a black comedian who says negative things about black women sometimes.

    @ Anita Grant, I think this film is still in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Here’s the link
    http://www.sundancechannel.com/festival/

  45. flygyrl72 says:

    @mochachoc,

    “You know i think this whole ‘good hair’ debate only applies to women. I don’t ever remember that being said about men’s hair.”

    I don’t know that the notion only applies to women though. Look at all the texturizer kits for men at the store (S-curl, etc.), I mean even fine ass Denzel gets a texturizer, ya know?

    Also, as many of us can attest, too many Black men are brainwashed into thinking that only women with straighter hair types/styles are optimally attractive. And that type of attitude affects us sistahs adversely too.

    And I also know from personal experience that men are also affected by this “good” hair drama, cause the last guy I dated (Nigerian Brit) would always lament about his hair being too nappy. He’s an accomplished actor who gets constant validation about his looks, but yet, is so hesitant about letting his hair grow out beyond an inch or two. He’d marvel at my big fro & constantly compliment it, but when I would encourage him to let his own gain a few inches of growth, he had lovely kinks & curl patterns…he told me he was embarassed by his own tight curl pattern, which to me, looked wonderful…since I’ve had my fro, I always envy my natural friends with a kinkier/tighter hair pattern, it makes their fros look so much more dope…at least in my opinion. Mine is so soft, if I don’t twist it up, it just falls all over the place…guess we always want what we can’t have… ;-)

  46. Props to Chris Rock for making such a corageous film!

    This “good hair”/”nappy hair” s**t pisses me off. It is ignorant, poisonous and hateful propaganda to anatagonise people. ALL HAIR IS GOOD REGARDLESS OF TEXTURE! It’s one thing for white people to mock black people’s hair, but for GENERATIONS OF BLACK FAMILIES to deride kinky hair as undesirable is f***ing sickening. I have ABSOLUTELY NO sympathy for those self-hating, house negro mentality blacks, they are odious, disgusting, racist human beings. If they wanna brag about light skin and “good hair” why don’t they go off and work for a white man in his house just like in the days of slavery??? Apologies for not being politically correct but I just tell it like I see it. These f***s should be SOOOOOOOO lucky that they have the privelidge of living in a free, democratic society like America. If any of these self-loathing black women lived in Afghanistan, they’d forever be wearing a burkha (something no different from a sack) and no-one would care what they look like then since they’d become anonymous.

    Black people have no right being upset at Don Imus’ comments when they’re the very ones who denigrate their own people in the most vile, hideous ways imaginable.

    I guess the black women who rock their natural, kinky hair can rest east every night knowing that their hair actually belongs to them, as opposed to all them weave wearing b***es-for whom many horses were maimed just so they could glue that s**t into their scalps.

  47. Preach Mandown! There’s a lot of truth in what you said.

    As much as I want to see this film, I have hated the fact that Chris has constantly disrespected black women in his comedy! I was sooo upset after watching one of his standup shows, its disgusting and not funny. We get disrespected enough, told were not good enough so we certainly don’t need him adding fuel to fire. Plus he disrespected Michelle Obama of all people! Saying she is more ambitious/power hungry than Barack and she’ll never let him be the man etc. His comments were ridiculous considering that Michelle has been Barack’s backbone from the very beginning, she is a great role model for black women.

    After hearing what Chris said I actually hate him now, and I used to love his shows before. Someday he’ll regret his comments when his daughters are crying over some guy who said they werent good enough just because theyre black and female- then he’ll realize how ridiculous he has been.

    And I must add that the whole light/dark/good hair thing isnt just an american thing, my family are mostly west african and everytime someone has a baby the first thing they’ll check for is how light the child is, how soft their hair is, is their hair light and brown or is it dark blah blah blah. Its ridiculous. Thus I dont think its a slavery thing, I think black people can often be our biggest enemies.

  48. I really want to see the movie too. To see what conclusions Chris comes to. I hope by the end, Lil’ Lola gets the self-esteem boost she needs.

    Quick question, Mandown, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or serious with the self-righteousness but I’m hoping it’s sarcasm.

  49. Mandown, by all means speak your truth, but please I ask you keep it profanity free. I’m no prude, but I have a big readership of little afrobellas, plus my parents and in-laws read this blog. I’d rather keep this all as PG-13 as possible.

    Never before have I done this, but I took the liberty of editing your comment with asterisks, because you added to the discourse. But I typically delete profanity-laden comments.

  50. afrobello says:

    “‘I need a job. I want to move forward, and if I have a hairstyle that is somewhat intimidating, that’s going to stop me from moving forward.’”

    The people who will keep us from moving forward based on hairstyles need to be interviewed for a documentary like this. Black folks have spent more than enough time expressing hair issues to each other. The ones whose beauty standards we’re reacting to can’t continue to get off without explaining their part in this dilemma. Mothers can’t keep blindly passing the insecurities to their daughters either.

  51. I read a discussion on this site over a year ago about co-washing and pre-pooing. I had never heard of these terms before. Since then, I have been using one of the recipes someone shared in the discussion a couple of times a week. My hair is GORGEOUS!!! Its longer, stronger and healthier than it has ever been in my life!

    If all black women had this information, the subject of hair would FINALLY be laid to rest. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with our hair. Its ALL good!

  52. mochachoc says:

    i’m seeing a lot of ‘natural’ wigs and weaves these days. Is there a sea change around the corner? I love love love natural hair its so sexy.

  53. Oh I cant wait to see this film. I love the face that he has looked deeper into why his daughter would ask this question. He is doing the right thing. Giving his daughter all the right info.

    dont see how what how her mum wears her hair says anything. Words carry so much more weight. As she grows she may decide to keep her hair natural or whatever she likes.

    look forward to seeing the film

  54. I’ll watch the movie to see what it says
    but i agree with Trini…hair in hollywood should be examined

  55. My 6 year old daughter just loves her hair:) I make it a point to let her know how beautiful her hair is in it’s natural state.

    She has come to me asking me why some of her caucasian classmates hair was longer than hers and I explained to her that everyone’s hair is different. I also showed her (by stretching her hair down her back) that her curly hair grows long too but is just curly:)

    I am still laughing at Nikki’s comment. I am going to check out the film and the NP thread.

    Thank you Afrobella for always giving us food for thought:)

  56. I definitely want to see this movie. Hopefully, going forward, Chris Rock will continue to promote more positive messages about the black community, whether he’s doing standup comedy or film. I’m curious to see if and how this film will transform his future work.

  57. I won’t be watching it. I refuse to support him.

  58. ChellaBella says:

    i think it will be interesting, of course i think we(aa women) are conflicted…even if we do wear our hair “natural” we know that it is not THE standard of beauty in this nation or in the world for that matter, but you know what? that’s okay because every thing we do gets copied in some form or fashion, ie, tans, “perms” injections, pilates for the formation of buttocks…like that’s really and exercise, please, they are trying to toot their booties and be like us.
    i think all women are beautiful and black women are some of the most stunning we are a rainbow within a rainbow…from ruby dee to taraji p henson, to jennifer hudson to fantasia, to iman to iman chanel, to sade to jill scott, to phylicia rashad to debbie allen to venus and serena williams…to marion wright edleman to michelle obama, to all you who are reading this! we are beautiful, weaved, permed, press n curl, curly, nappy, straight, braided, bald by force or by choice (keep your heads up cancer fighters/survivors) WE ARE BEAUTIFUL ANY WAY IT GOES!
    FROM VOUGE TO SCHOOL PICTURES! BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!

  59. Iagree with Meena and I find it funny that so many people are calling out Malik(?sp) but are forgetting Chris’s role in choosing his wife and likely the women he holds at beautiful…wasn’t Chris the same man that gloated about his money and fame now allowing him to have beautiful women…his wife may be the one saying their daughters will remain natural despite his disapproval…I think this film is image repair

  60. Hating on Rock, It’s called jokes you monkeys!

  61. JJ I don’t get how you can call somebody a racist then refer to us all as monkeys. Your clearly of low intellect and can’t relate or don’t want to. I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you may not be of African descent and if you are then your a sad spectical. Chris rock’s use of humor only supports the fact that he has issueswhen it comes to black women . People have been using jokes to address tense/tough issues sense forever. Sometimes in good taste and in other cases not so much. His jokes are not to far from what he actually may think and therefore not just jokes or okay. I really just wanted to mention that this is not the first documentary about our hair. I saw one I think it was called Roots and Passage. I met the film director, a black woman, and she informed me that this was what many black female independent filmmakers choose to do their first film about…sort of their right to passage in tv industry. So there are others..but u guys should try to see this one too it was really good.

  62. Amijane brought up a valid point. According to Jj, black people are the only ones with nappy ass hair so apparently it’s not a white thing, or a race based issue. Then why are Asian, Latina, Indian, and even many eastern European women just name a few included in tv ads for hair products or on runways in the same numbers as the average white clone of artificial beauty. Everything is from a white point of view and i dont know if you noticed you are not the only people in the US or the world. Stop forcing your ideals on everyone else. In your head u probably think everything is all inclusive but it’s not. I do wonder if whites catch as much flack about their lip injections, breast implants, and Botox needin’ skin as we do about our hair .

  63. JJ – I deleted your second comment. I really don’t need or appreciate ignorance like that on this blog. And I see that I’m going to have to restate the commenting rules here — some of you appear to be new to Afrobella. We keep our conversation civil, intelligent, and informative around here. Save the cussing for other blogs, alright? Thanks.

  64. I posted an article chris rock did for wall street journal on my blog. I first found out about this movie on nappturality too. I do have interest in this film. I know how I feel about being naturals. I think it will interesting to see what mr. rock realized. if this child were a boy, this of course wouldn’t have been made. also I can’t judge other folk because of me being natural. I would like for people to realize come to the decision themselves. their mind needs to be in the right place.

  65. Whether you like him or not, the film just won the grand jury prize at Sundance and was purchased for a theatrical release.

    I am not at all a fan of Rock’s comedy and i feel like most black entertainers he is vehemently more anti black woman than anti white supremacy, but that’s another story.

    I think that he did this film for personal reasons. I am sure that since his daughters are finally growing into womanhood, he sees the damage already inflicted upon them despite their rich upbringing. All the money in the world cannot insulate young black girls from seeing that they are not prized, especially amongst men in their own “community”.

    I wish this little Rock girls the best of luck. Their dad’s line of “work” and their mother’s obvious insecurity is going to make for one hell of a tell-all book one day.

  66. To Afrobello: I totally agree with you, Black people have spent a lot of time discussing this with each other. I doubt if Rock adds anything new, . When he pitched this I wonder who he named as his target audience. There are a few fantastic short films on youtube by young Black women (and one teenager, can’t remember her name) that are insightful and informative about this very topic, because they are coming from our perspective.

    “What he discovers is that black hair is a big business that doesn’t always benefit the black community and little Lola’s question might well be bigger than his ability to convince her that the stuff on top of her head is nowhere near as important as what is inside.”-YEAH, MANY OF US ALREADY KNEW THAT, CHRIS.

    And I’m so glad others have mentioned his despicable comments about Michelle Obama. His tired routine tried to reduce Mrs. Obama to hoodrat level and it was unacceptable to me. It was on the same level as the ugly foxnews comment calling her babymama, but because a Black man said it it’s just a lil jokey joke. The image of Black women in general is so often used as a punchline in so many media outlets nowadays, and then we are catered to for our financial or emotional support. He should have spent his money making a movie about the horrible epidemic of young, frustrated Black men killing each other, my natural hair is not destroying communities.

    I wonder what’s next, DL Hughly making a “film” about how Black women can raise their self esteem…

  67. I’ve read on other blogs mean comments about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s adopted daughter Zahara and her hair. I’ve even read once about the Obama’s daughters’ hair. Each time commentators say stuff like “why aint they mama combing that nappy hair?” or suggesting they get a perm or run a hotcomb through it. There are no words to describe the ignorance displyaed in such comments.

    Saddest thing about self-hatred is that the so called black haircare industry is mostly run by Asians. How many billions do black women spend a year on their hair? It’ll be a crying shame if we let these Korean salons profit even during times of recession.

  68. I would love to see the movie myself. Since I have been wearing locs over the last 3 years, I get so many mixed reviews. I always keep my hair neat and what not. I feel like the main reason I was demoted on my job was because I decided to wear my hair natural and grow locs.

  69. let me play devil’s advocate…

    does a woman with relaxed hair or weave equate to a woman with low self esteem or one having self identity issues?
    are you guys saying that someone just can’t straighten their hair just for the mere fact that they like it or believes they can manage it better when its that way.
    all of u seem to be on the obama bus ..right?..well are you guys dying inside when michelle takes a day off from cornrowing the girls’ hair and putting that hot comb straight through.
    ever thought that they may not see it as an issue, that once those girls have their heads (brains) straight thats all that matters.
    i see/understand the whole relevance to self identity esp in young girls but we cant make the same judgement for everyone. we’re so caught deciding whats right and wrong we dont even see we’re creating more divisions.just let ppl live and be who they want to be ..if it means wearing a wig, weave, all straight do..or all punked out..
    ..we’re supposedly all on the same obama bus that preaches tolerance,right?!

  70. I cosign che’s comments. I myself wear a full weave. I didn’t decide to wear the weave because I woke up one day and decided that I hate myself. I woke up to the diagnosis of Lupis and the reality of hair loss. I am slowly and patiently growing my hair back. I am completely natural and have not permed my hair in 2 years, but to the rest of you, if you encountered me on the street, I would be a self-hating black woman with low self-esteem.
    So to all my righteous sistahs out there, sometimes there is more to the story and more to the person than what you see on the surface or adorning their head.

  71. To african/Che
    This is not about how black women feel about themselves when they wear weaves or relaxers. This is about little children and their uncanny ability to internalize when they notice physical differences to themselves. While you (African) may be a grounded lady, a young child who is surrounded by images of long straight flowing hair (- on TV, in the streets and on mommy) gets to believe that her hair (and by extension – she) is not good enough. This is not made up or projected stuff. It is scientific.

  72. Like many of the other commentators, I am transtioning because of my daughters. If I do’nt see myself as beautiful in my natural state, what message am I sending to my girls. My girls are 2 and 3 and their concept of self in being determined everyday. I am teaching them to love their hair, stretched, unstretched, braided, twisted or left free.
    I will go to see the film when it comes out, but my mind has been made up.
    It starts from the home, I will not allow external forces to impose their standards of beauty on my home.

  73. People are not saying that if you perm your hair or straighten hair, you hate yourself. That’s taking this post to the extreme. The same thing is done when I say I don’t agree with homosexuality, now all of a sudden I’m a homophobe.

    Anyhow, this should make black women think more. I have friends with YOUNG daughters and they perm their daughter’s hair. I don’t care what the excuse is, I just don’t think that’s good for their psyche. I know a lot of black mother’s that come at their daughters natural hair with a negative approach, because, they don’t feel like doing it. Children pick this up very easily and this definitely affects their self esteem. I think documentaries, ect, need to be made until we get it right. We are far from that…

  74. If you’re interested in watching a film on black hair and participating in a discussion, Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale will have the Floria premiere of the documentary on black hair, My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage, February 7th, 2009, Saturday in honor of Black History Month. It’s free and open to the public.
    Here’s further information:

    Saturday, February 7
    My Nappy Roots: A Journey through Black Hair-itage Film and Panel Discussion, 2-4:00 pm
    Come to the Carl DeSantis Building, Knight Auditorium for the Florida film premiere and discussion of My Nappy Roots: A Journey through Black Hair-itage, the award winning documentary on black hair featuring Kim Fields, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Vivica A. Fox. Connect with the film’s director, Regina Kimbell, fans and a panel of experts for a community discussion on the historical, professional and personal accounts of the black hair journey. Sponsored by the Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center. For further information call 954-262-5477.

  75. Thanks for posting this Bella… I’ve been posting in my own blog about this from time to time, and I think it’s a good thing Chris Rock did this. He for one, is doing the right thing by his daughter.

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this before, but there is a MARVELLOUS documentary available for free on YouTube by Aron Ranen. The link to it is in my blog entry on it:

    http://www.thegoddessroom.com/index.php?option=com_wordpress&Itemid=94&p=451

  76. I can’t wait to see this documentary!

  77. I am excited about this documentary. I have now reached the point where I have worn my hair in the natural state longer than in the “unnatural” state. My daughters have always had natural hair and have thick locs. They have never asked about the beauty of their hair. They know it…I always tell them how beautiful they and their hair are..I didn’t think about it until reading this thread. They never flinch and trust me, other kids have tried to test and make comments about their hair, to no affect…They just know.

  78. Im so happy, im crying!

  79. As soon as I heard about this film, I knew it was something that I would want to see. I can’t wait.

  80. I would love to see this movie. I have always and still remain concerned about how beautiful Black women (and men play an important part as well)often deny our true heritage particularly our natural hair and fail to teach our children the beauty in who we are. I am disheartened by young people & even younger children degrading one another if their hair isn’t straight and/or long. I hate to see young children with extensions, a weave or even an added piece like a ponytail. We more than whites tend to place an emphasis looking more Eurocentric than whites do. Even models, singers, celebrities who started out with their natural style have gone straight. I’m all for diversity and I feel we have the most creativity when it comes to our hair but to fixate on just one look is denying who we really are. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just ourselves.

  81. Ooooooh my GOD! I have been waiting for this for months! I heard about this first on Oprah and I thought it was an amazing concept. I love the whole good hair/bad hair argument. Chris Rock is fantastic and I know this is gonna be great.

  82. Yes, planning to see it.

  83. DetroitSister says:

    Look, in case we do not want to face the sad reality…people still talk about good hair and bad hair among our young people and it is a shame. I work in a middle school and more than half of the girls wear weaves on a regular basis. They do not know any better. They do not like their hair, they do not like themselves. They like people who have hair that less kinky. This type of film can be something to help young black girls and hopefully teach them at an early age, like my parents taught me, there is no such thing as good hair. Hair is hair, that’s it. Be glad if God blessed you with some and if you do have any be glad for that too.

    It seems like this good hair/bad hair debate would be dead in our society but unfortunately it is not. This film will not solve the problem but hopefully if you can expose young people to some ideas that make them reconsider how they think about themselves then maybe, it was worth it!

  84. Do you know how I can order this movie to show my little girl and her friends…

  85. This hair is very manageable when you know what to do. If you want to an effective simple routine for this hair type, go to my website, and print out the instructions.

    If you want to see an example of well cared for “kinky” hair, google Stephanie Suthers. I’m planning to feature more women like her on my site in the coming months, if they agree to interviews.

    Take Care

  86. GOOD HAIR WILL REMAIN AS GOOD HAIR. BAD HAIR HAPPENS WHEN YOU TRY INTERFERING WITH CHEMICALS OFCOURSE! SO THESE TWO TERMS REMAIN ACTIVE FOR AS LONG AS WE STILL HAVE RELAXERS AND ALL.

    PERSORNALLY I LOVE MY LONG NATURAL HAIR, IT’S SEXY WELL TAKEN CARE OFF BY MY SISTERS IN SOUTH AFRICA, THEY EVEN USE SHAMPOO SPECIALLY MADE FOR MY NATURAL CROWN AT JABU STONE SALON.

    I AM SO SEEING THIS MOVIE!

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