By Moriah Comarcho-Mikhail
I remember reading on Twitter once that black girls attribute so much value and self-worth to their hair — maintaining it, controlling it and styling it — that when you see a black girl who just shaves it all off, you “know that’s a bad b—h.”
Recently, the natural hair movement has swept the nation, snatching wigs left and right. But some have gone the extra mile in embracing their naturally beautiful selves and just shave it all off. “Nappily Ever After” is one woman’s journey of embracing her natural beauty.
The driven and stunning Violet, played by Sanaa Lathan, has it all — the perfect job, the perfect man and always the perfect hair. After a strange turn of events, when her long-term boyfriend doesn’t propose and tells her that being with her was like a two-year first date (ouch!), things spiral out of control. One drunken night, she catches a glimpse of her matted hair in the mirror, glances down at a razor and goes for it.
Now, while the movie is predictable, it is so relevant for black girls today.
One scene that hit deep was a flashback of Violet as a little girl jumping into the pool after being coaxed by a white boy. Once she jumps in and chemistry does its thing, her naps come to life. The boy points at her head, “What happened to your hair?” and all the kids start laughing at her. Her mother gets her, they rush into the car and leave.
Reflecting back on this traumatic memory, Violet says to her mother, “I wonder who I would be if you had just hugged me and told me I was still beautiful.”
Every black girl can relate to the torture of being subject to a hot comb and heat for hours to attain perfect, slick, white girl hair. Our hate for our hair has been passed down through generations. We often wished our mothers thought they were pretty enough to think we were pretty too. Luckily, we live in a generation of black women who are more confident than ever before. Confident enough to do like Violet and chop it all off.
“Nappily Ever After” is a time of self-reflection for every black girl. How much are you willing to sacrifice perfection for confidence, for love, for real. So many friends hit me up to ask if I watched, and they all cried about how much they could relate. Who knows, maybe you can too? Now go watch.