Monday, April 19, 2010

Since today is my day off, I decided to do something relatively productive with my morning and watch Chris Rock's documentary, "Good Hair". I originally was supposed to see it in the theater, but football season derailed those plans. And then I was supposed to see it in my living room with my fiancee, but she foiled those plans by seeing it with her mother and sister (perfectly understandable). So I rented the movie via itunes, and I JUST finished it. Here are my early thoughts:

1)Chris Rock is naturally funny. There are some comics who can construct a brilliant joke, but they really aren't naturally funny. Then you have people who have mastered the art of physical comedy, and it tends to overshadow their other comedic flaws. Rock is just funny all around, and in this movie, just look at how people react around him. That's comedy.

2)There's a section in the movie when Rock asks men if they've ever had to pay for a woman to get a weave. I did this one time with an ex of mine, but when I agreed to do it, I had no clue how much the total cost would be. I remember spending almost $500 total for a weave that I could not touch or pull, and I vowed to never do it again (and I haven't since). That's just ridiculously expensive, and if you can't afford it your damn self, then oh well.

3) One of my biggest fears, is that I am going to have a daughter. Chris Rock has two daughters, and he seems legitimately happy, and I'm sure I would be happy too if that happened to me. But at some point, my fiancee will be out of town, sick, or not around for a few hours. And I will have to take my daughters somewhere important, and their hair will have to be done, and I'm scared that I will a)have them looking jacked up or b)cause permanent damage. I like taking my son to the barbershop. We are in and out in 15 minutes, it costs $20 with tip, and all the shit-talking done in the shop is free. I think if I had a daughter and my wife wasn't around, I'd hire someone to do her hair.

4)As I watched the movie, I was reminded of a story my mother told me. My mother wore her hair in a short natural from 1983 to 1999. Prior to that, she had a jheri curl, and before that, she wore a giant afro. The jheri curl period of her life was so short, that I barely remember, so the afro and natural are what I came to expect from my mother. But around '99, she was sick of that hairstyle, so she decided to do different things. From 1999 to 2005, she got perms, relaxers, braids, and everything else.

One of my mother's students at the time (she taught at George Mason) noticed my mother's change in hair, and stepped to her. She asked my mother why she was "selling out" by not wearing her hair naturally, and she told my mother that she wasn't a role model for young black "sistahs". My mother politely told this girl, that 1)the beauty of being a woman is having a choice and 2)she's worn her hair in many different styles. My mother then told this girl that the issue of "selling out" was b.s. because your body of work, not your hair, determines your worth. I always admired my mother for having class in her dealings with that girl because I'd have slapped her with keys in my hand, and then stood over her like "WHAT? WHAT?". Clearly I have a ways to go in the maturity and class department. Oh, and my mother is back to wearing her hair natural.

That's all I have right now. Overall, I have a larger appreciation for what women go through with their hair. I've never been a man that gave a good goddamn about hair (or legs for that matter). As long you as look neat and groomed to some degree, everything is gravy. But at least now I can appreciate the various processes.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

Sooo I've been wearing my hair natural for oh at least 5 years and I've yet to see Good Hair. And have no reason not too.

Please thank your mom for me (well just lump my thanks in when you thank her for something she's done for you...hahahahaha). That exchange with a (BOLD) student exemplifies the struggle of hair identity. Its ridiculous. And I would have failed the chick on GP. hhahahahaha