“Good” Hair – A Global Issue
So here I am in Canada with one of my closest friends and sorority sisters, Sherema. We came to relax, enjoy time away from the dirt and grime of NYC (and shhhh! to see Jay-Z perform in really good seats). We haven’t done particularly “Canadian” things since we’ve been here – neither of us play hockey, and we don’t eat bacon… alas. So in our adventure today, we explored Toronto’s public transportation system, got eyeballed by several natives, got hit on by a couple of Desi guys (must be our afros!)
After what felt like 2 hours on mass transit, among teenagers and their cute Toronto accents, we stumbled upon Kennedy Commons. Kennedy Commons is an average sized strip mall (supermarket, movie theatre and all) which made me feel like I was in Suburbia USA. We saw Good Hair, a movie by Chris Rock motivated by his daughter asking him why she didn’t have “good hair”.
Here is my issue with this movie – first off, I dare not call it a documentary. Second of all, the fact that the Latina and Caribbean experiences with “good hair” were not featured, made me feel left out of the dialogue. When I brought this up to Sherema, she thought that this movie was rightly reserved to address only African American women, but that it can be applied to women with coarse hair all over the world. Yes, and no. Yes, women with “coarse” hair all over the world DO spend millions on products to chemically alter and “enhance” hair with weaves/wigs/extensions. However the reasons why an Afro-Latina chemically treats or weavily-enhances her hair may be the product of various factors, and not necessarily the “reasons” set forth in this documentary. Moreover, without specifically calling a group out (YES, YOU GRANDMA and AUNTIE and COUSINS), it will be assumed that Afro-Latinas and Caribbean girls are not part of this conversation about “good hair”. At the end of the day, the products Rock spoke of, and the money being spent on these hair enhancements all go to the same places. From Haiti to Brazil to the US to South Africa, there is much to learn & discuss in matters of our “good hair”