After Chris Rock’s heavy media campaign, including a high-profile Oprah appearance, if you haven’t heard of his latest documentary Good Hair yet (or if you didn’t read our previous post on the film’s trailer a few months back), you need to get yourself to Google, stat! The much-anticipated documentary, which won the Special Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year, was finally released on Friday, the 9th, and M.I.S.S. headed to the theater over the weekend for some popcorn and plenty of Good Hair laughs.
The strength of Good Hair lies in Chris Rock’s comedic spin on the issues at hand, namely “what is good hair”? In his exploration of what the term means, the comedian gives us a family-friendly brand of humor that, although new (aren’t we used to the man offending everyone in his path and loving every minute of it?!), works remarkably well for the film. Beyond the concept of “good hair”, Rock also gives us incredibly detailed insider access to the business of good hair that even I, as a woman who has spent lots of time and monies on getting my hair right over the years, had no idea about. From beauty school graduations to the religious reasons behind your Indian weave, Rock lets us in on the “secret society of black hair”– most important, I finally got to see Real Housewives of Atlanta Kim Zolciak’s wig maker Derek J in action… and in 4″ heels. It’s that serious.
My main complaint with the film has less to do with the content, and more to do with who made it. Yes, Chris is funny. Yes, Chris is black. And yes, Chris has known plenty of black women with all kinds of hair. But he forgets that this documentary is about black women and their relationship to their hair. Rock spends a lot, and I mean a lot, of time focusing on how black men perceive black women because of their hair. Rock fishes for answers from these men at times, as if he’s looking for men to say “Damn, I hate my woman’s hair!” The comedian’s focus on men’s involvement in a woman’s hair is important, but not that important. I personally can’t think of the last time I really considered a man when it came to styling my hair, or paying for it. Is it just me, or do we as women really have to include our men in this equation?
Either way, the movie is a must see for all you ladies out there who’ve ever sat and waited for hours on end at your local shop. As Nia Long says towards the close of the doc, “Black women, black hair. We’re high maintenence, but in the end, you get sooo much!” Couldn’t agree more…!
- Good Hair: A Chris Rock Documentary
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