What do you think about Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”?

Hi all,

I was so proud to strut out of the theatre rocking my long, natural locs after seeing Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”.  No perm over here, homey!

I’ve seen some reviews from sistas on blogs and all over the net… all largely positive.  I was enlightened by the information on how the chemicals in relaxer really work (that chicken example cured me from ever wanting the “creamy crack on my head AGAIN!!!) and the info on where weave really comes from.  It made me wonder if some of the women I know (who are very picky and won’t even eat the potato salad at a picnic if they don’t know who made it) will be weary of wearing hair that might have had “bugs” in it.

Things I loved about it:

  • Derek J – A tiny man in tall heels
  • The scene where the white guy gets botox.  Hilarious!
  • The reactions to Chris selling black hair – I wonder if someone is going to have some angry customers at their weave shop after that??
  • The fact that they didn’t show the hair being washed and chemical treated in India – Um…did they wash and treat it?  I mean he showed Dudley Product’s whole set up…just wondering.
  • Black men talking about how they can’t touch their woman’s hair.
  • Exposing how bad relaxer really is for the skin and hair.
  • Raven Simone – That is a REAL chick, right there!  Someone who you could just hang out with.  I love her!
  • Nia Long needs her own TV show.  She is so funny and real.  Loved her comments.
  • It’s a shame how early some little girls are taught that their hair is “bad”.
  • Where are women getting thousands of dollars to spend on weave?!?!  I never knew it cost so much for good quality “fake” natural hair.

Like many of the reviewers who’ve commented on the movie, I thought there was a lot of information missing regarding the source of self hatred when it comes to beauty in the black community and assimilation to euro standards (Sharpton did break it down, though.  Nicely!).   However, the movie is a winner without that information.  Rock is a commedian, not an activist.  I loved the movie and encourage others to see it.

Did you see the movie?  What are your thoughts on “Good Hair”?

Update: One of my black young female co-workers and a white older female co-worker were talking about the movie a few mins ago.  The younger one said “My boyfriend told me yesterday, “You’re wearing those people’s oppression on your head!”, referring to her weave.  Toooo Funny!  Although, he does kinda have a point.

9 Comments

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9 Responses to What do you think about Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”?

  1. SouthernGirl2

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  2. I haven’t seen the documentary yet, but the phrase “good hair” does flash me back to one of the most heartbreaking things I ever witnessed, back in 1994.

    I worked for a children’s hospital, and my 14-year-old niece and godchild was coming in for spinal surgery. The surgery was about 5 hours, so we were in the waiting room all day. My sister, a reading teacher, was beside herself with worry, and even my stoic brother-in-law was fretting. I had gotten the day off to wait with them.

    Another family was there almost all day, too, a black family whose 5-year-old daughter was in for a day of testing. They were in and out of the waiting room all day, as the little girl would get a test, then come back to the waiting room. (She didn’t have a life-threatening condition, just something that would probably require surgery.)

    The girl was a charmer, and rightly doted upon by her parents. After awhile the girl offered to read a story to my sister to cheer her up, and my sister was delighted — children and books are her passion. The girl was open and approachable, without being bratty the way some kids are when they want attention from strangers.

    It was obvious that her parents lavished time, attention and love on her. Her hair was elaborately braided with lots of little beads, and it was obvious that her family had read to her, and listened to her, and had communicated her value to her. She had been raised the way every child deserves to be raised, and it showed.

    After several hours, she came and sat by me. My hair was below my waist at that point, and she started stroking my hair while I read her a story. Finally, she said, “Your hair is so pretty.”

    “Well, thank you,” I said. “And I love your hair, too. I wish I could have pretty braids like yours, but my hair is too thin, and I’d look silly. But you look beautiful.” (Every word of it true. Other than the fact that my hair was 3 feet long at the time, there was nothing remarkable about it. There was just a lot OF it.)

    “Oh, no,” she said, “your hair is prettier than mine.” She said it without sadness, just a trace of regret over something that can’t be changed, and has to be accepted as the truth.

    “Well,” I said, “my hair is DIFFERENT, certainly, but it’s not prettier. Look how shiny your hair is, and what a beautiful color it is. Do you know, I have to DYE my hair, because my regular hair color is so boring. And I’ll never be able to braid my hair like yours, ’cause like I said, my hair is too thin.”

    But she wouldn’t be dissuaded. Her final comment was, “No, your hair is better. You have ‘good hair.’” I chanced a look at her mother then (the dad was off getting coffee). The mom looked like someone had ripped her heart out. I know I must have had some sickly apologetic look on my face, because the mom had the courtesy to give me a little “don’t worry, it’s not your fault” kind of wave.

    My sister saw the whole thing, and we talked about the incident a few days later. I can still recall the rage I felt, that here was this beautiful little girl — smart, charismatic, articulate beyond her years, cherished, surrounded by people who loved her — and yet this s***hole society of ours had convinced her that there was something wrong with her. That the very hair that grew out of her head was deformed and second-best. That despite having the greatest riches that anyone can possess — a loving family — she felt like there was something fundamentally lacking in her. I wanted to hit somebody, but I had no idea who.

  3. msthing912

    I thought the movie was kind of trite. Must it all come down to natural vs. permed/weaved hair? I know plenty of women (myself included) who will get a blow-out one week, and then rock a wet set the next. That viewpoint didn’t seem to be at all represented in the film. We aren’t all slaves to our hair in the way this film depicts us. I think Chris Rock needed to get out of LA and Atlanta, and spend some time interviewing some women in Brooklyn.

  4. I will not watch the movie and doubt if I ever will. Brother Rock felt the need to denigrate Black women further. In America we have been conditioned for years that what we have been blessed with is inferior. Now we have an ugly Black brother (according to America standards )trying to pass his pain unto a group that at present is taking many blows from America media as well as the Black male. To say somthing is bad, one must have a standard of what is good. I see also the white media continue to USE these Brothers that know nothing about genectics nor protection of OUR/MY sisters to come in the racist backdoor to do their dirty work. The message is- the more Afr/Negoid you look the more you are inferior to me(whites) Now for you commenters that want to blast me for my need to protact my sisters… how many of you want to have a baby by that bubbled eyed clown. I bet Brother Rock is afraid to make a movie about how ugly white women are without make-up. Keep it real Brother Rock…pick on someone that can/will put in back on the plantation. When these foolish Brothers are allowed to make money in America…they always pick on the sisters, perfect example is how SOME rap have tarnish my Sisters. As far as his reason (daughter’s query), that was a perfect time to educate his girl to why hair have different textures. That management jive is just justification for sisters that dislike themselves. That’s the desired results.

  5. laromana

    Maryellen says,
    I am sick and tired of these so-called “societal issues” that demean and denigrate behavior that is inclusive of EVERY woman on earth but focuses primarily on Black women. Our White, Latino, and Asian sisters also chemically relaxed, process, highlight, color, and add extensions and weaves to their hair but their people are not constantly singling them out as if they are psychologically disturbed because they are “enhancing” their natural beauty. I would have been more interested if Mr. Rock had focused his attention on issues that affect men in general and Black Men in particular: marrying their ‘babies’ mothers, staying married to their babies mothers, adultery, homosexuality, financial acumen, etc. Now these topics are societal issues that Mr. Rock should be addressing (if he can)!

    laromana says,
    I agree completely with Maryellen’s insightful comment and would add that anyone who praises Chris Rock’s mockumentary should be ASHAMED because it’s CLEAR this tripe was designed to make a fast buck/get a quick laugh while promoting ANTI-BW LIE, MYTHS, and STEREOTYPES that attack the HUMANITY, DIGNITY, and FEMININITY of BW.
    I also appreciate Larry’s defense of BW (above comment) and we need MORE BM to CONDEMN the trashing of BW by MANY BM and American media/society.

  6. Deedee

    Chris Rock’s wife wears a perm and colored contacts!! He is a modern day jiggaboo joke!!! Ancient Egyptians wore wigs!!!

  7. yvonnjanae

    Oh my goodness! What unreasonable vinegar is this?
    The movie was wonderful! Funny as all get out. Insightful.
    Larry, you obviously have no clue what actually takes place in the movie. You seem to have formed your opinions based on the title alone.
    I have only ONE COMPLAINT. Chris did not fully explain that the experiments using the chicken and the soup can were with Lye relaxers. Not the no-lye relaxers that are common today.
    I think he kept a nice balance between the comedy and the tragedy of seeking straight hair. No one in their right mind expected him to give the full history of black people’s oppression in one short movie.
    I highly recommend it. You will laugh — a lot. Especially when you see the “tumbling tumbleweave.”

  8. What!!!

    I am a 27 year old black woman. My hair history has included relaxed and natural states. I have found that relaxers are the worst thing that I can do to my hair. I have found that my only problem wearing my natural hair are the negative attitudes and comments from others. I am on my third and final attempt at wearing my hair natural. I will not give in to the peer and societal pressure to wear hair straight. I enjoyed Good Hair because I have been through most of what was talked about in the movie and I hate it all. To the comment that other cultures and races alter themselves in the name of beauty… Do you know of any white girls being pressured to get a perm because their hair doesn’t look good straight? I’m sure that story would be hard to find. It is also very abnormal for whites to chemmically process a 5 year olds hair. They are taught that the hair that grows out of their hair is beautiful just like Mommy’s. Our daughters are taught that their hair can be nice just like Mommy’s once they are old enough for a relaxer. Until then they just have to suffer the hot comb. If you don’t think the efforts black women go through and the money spent to acheive a straight hair style is excessive and ridiculous, you are refusing to look on the mirror. That is what Good Hair does. It forces us to see ourselves and what we are doing to ourselves. Chris Rock is not a jiggaboo and shame on you for calling him one. He is a black man raising a black family and his black child needs to learn to appreciate her black hair. Fortunately for her she is being taught at an early age. Maybe she won’t go through the pain you and I have felt about our hair. Keep it in the closet mentality doesn’t solve anything. It may be uncomfortable to talk about these things but that doesn’t make it uneccessary. All black people need to fall in love with who we are and maybe then we won’t be so worried about how others see us.

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