(directed by Jeff Stilson, 2009)
*** (out of 5)
> Thoughtful funnyman Chris Rock was horrified when his preschool daughter asked him tearfully: “Daddy, why do I have bad hair”?
. It set off a spark in his imagination, and the result is this comic look at what turns out to be a serious subject: standards of beauty within the black community in America. Just why would a beautiful young girl be distressed about the natural frizz of her gorgeous nappy hair? Why does this population, comprising only 12 percent of the population, use 80% of all the hair products sold in the country? Why have so many black folks bought into a white-imposed icon of beauty: the long wavy hair of glamorous supermodels?
. When I learned how much black women frequently spend on hair extensions and wigs, and how they share toxic straightening treatments trying to attain this standard of beauty, I was just flabbergasted. So was Chris Rock. In GOOD HAIR, he travels the world to get at what’s behind this issue, from a Harlem barber shop to the ashrams of India, where average people shave their hair by the millions to show humility before God, then leave it to be collected by Asian businessmen who then ship it to America for this 12% of the market, earning a fortune and making human hair India’s greatest export. Maya Angelou and Al Sharpton even weigh in on the matter!
. I will never look at a black person’s hair again, without thinking of this surprisingly informative and predictably entertaining film, and wondering to myself.
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