Archive for October, 2009


The Movie should have ben called, "The Do's and Don'ts of Weaves & Fake Hair....and that Hair Show in Atlanta too.

The Movie should have ben called, "The Do's and Don'ts of Weaves & Fake Hair....and that Hair Show in Atlanta too.



This weekend I chose to spend my Saturday evening in the movie theater, giving up my $10.50 to see Chris Rock’s latest piece of work, Good Hair.  Now, in promoting the documentary over several media outlets, Mr. Rock claimed that his daughter was the inspiration for the film, giving an anecdote that went something like this…. He was driving his daughter, Lola, and her white classmate home from school and  Lola asked him, “How come I don’t have good hair like her?”

From his explanation, I expected the movie to delve into the debate of “Good Hair” versus “Bad Hair”, or  try to figure out whether either really exists, mixed with a fair amount of the Chris Rock comedy we’ve all come to know. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Out of the entire hour and thirty-five minute movie, I’ll be generous and say that a total of about 5 minutes of the movie pertained to the former and most of the rest of the film was humorous and a bit condescending. There wasn’t a single five minute block of hard core discussion on the good hair vs. bad hair debate, but bits and pieces that very briefly covered the subject were sprinkled throughout the movie. Here’s a short list; there was a group of young black females, of different hair types, who talked about what they thought about natural hair. One girl said, “Natural hair and a suit don’t match.” There was a woman who suffered from Alopecia, a condition that causes one to loose all the hair on their body, similar to the effects of chemotherapy, who spoke about refusing to wear a wig, because she would feel like she was hiding something. There was also a quick sound bite that was spoken. “I am not my hair”. This line was the title of an India.Arie song back in 2006, which sparked conversation when it came out. By the way, WTF (the previous “W” stands for WHERE, in this case, not WHAT. Go back and insert it.) was India.Arie? Alright, maybe it would have been a little cliche, but with songs like “I am not my hair” and “Video” I think she could have done a little to help settle the uncertain mind of little Lola Rock, not to mention the countless amount of other young black girls with the same query. 

While watching the movie I was a baffled at times when it got a little condescending. While in one woman’s salon Chris spoke to the owner about the price of weaves and wigs and she revealed that one wig could cost over $3000. In another part of the film Chris spoke to a man who bought hair directly from India and sold it to vendors. This prissy mofo, with shoulder length, straightened hair, had the nerve to laugh as he said, “they won’t pay their rent to get some of this hair.” A large part of the movie also covered the $9 Billion Black Hair Industry, and it seemed to me that Chris Rock was pointing out the frivolous spending of black Americans, while sitting on his high horse with his nose pointed to the sky. 

I felt the movie went on a tangent and spent a lot of time out in left field as it followed four contestants in a hair show that was held in Atlanta. It focused on what kind of boots one of the flamboyant participants was going to wear to the show, the notion that a white man was actually good at styling black women’s’ hair, and an older, borderline psychotic, contestants underwater/bar skit. WTF does all of this have to do with “Good Hair”? 

Also, most of the star power in the movie were women with weaves, or women who wore wigs, who didn’t really talk in depth about Good Hair vs. Bad Hair. What they did talk about was how much they paid for their hair, how particular they are with what kind of hair they will wear, and how their husband/boyfriend was not allowed to touch their hair, at all. There were a few women with natural hairstyles in the movie, but I think they could have been represented more and a whole lot better, because they do exist. 

The name of a movie means a lot. The way this movie was promoted combined with the name led a lot of people to believe that it would be something different. I think Chris Rock could have done a lot more with what he had, and could have afforded to leave a lot of what made it to the big screen, out. With his daughter’s common inquiry, a 3 year old in the movie saying that “you’re supposed to get a perm…” , and another black girl inferring that natural hairstyles and success don’t match, he could have went in a totally different, more positive and socially conscious direction. But, in the end, positive, socially conscious, movies haven’t been known to be hits at the box office, or at the bank.