Letter to Chris Rock (RE: "Good Hair")

Dear Chris Rock,

Thank you for Good Hair -- for helping to continue the conversation about loving our tresses, exposing the economic factors regarding the business of our hair and for illuminating both the beauty and ugliness of it all.

I don't recall the first time my hair sizzled from the intense heat of a hot comb. However, I do remember the hundreds of press-and-curls afterwards. The smell of burning in the kitchen. My hair has gone through several transitions. I've been fried, dyed, cut, shaved, curled, fro'd and blowed. I've gone from bone straight and honey colored to curly red. I've loved and hated my hair, but because of black hair culture, I've always had an appreciation and respect for my crown of kinks and curls.

Thank you for appreciating our hair enough to highlight some of its intricacies for the world to see.

I remember going on a family cruise and piping in on an argument between my sisters. The discussion began when my younger sister mentioned "good hair." My older sister was very upset by my younger sister's choice of words, stressing that if fine, soft-textured hair was to be called "good hair," then there had to be an antithesis. Course, thick hair would not fit the standard, which was insensitive and unacceptable.

The argument was, if "good hair" could be so narrowly defined, everything else would be clumped into the "bad hair" category. It's saddening that uniquely African hair, the tight curls, kinks
and naps would be categorized this way.

As you highlighted in your movie, the majority of people don't believe these natural textures to the the "style," professional or desired. It hurts my heart that women who look like me are more covetous of bagged Indian hair than their own beautiful manes. The debate that follows, however, isn't whether or not our own hair is beautiful, but whether or not we've been conditioned to hate our own characteristics.

In a sense, I think that the obvious answer would be yes.

Whether it's by relaxer or hot comb, the majority of women have aimed to have the Euro-feature of bone straight hair at one point or another. I'm even guilty of once convincing myself that long, straight hair looked better than my own. Eventually, I found the beauty of my own curls and I find excitement in the flexibility of my fro-to-wrap-in-seconds hair.

I'm still learning to completely embrace my own good hair. Good because it's healthy. Good because it's fly. Good because it's mine.


Ain HD

1 Engage in Discourse:

Lia said...

yeah...i remember that. asha chewed me out. now i get mad when people say i have good hair. almost entirely because of that experience.

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