Anyone seen Nappily Ever After?
Never heard of it?
You should see it. The movie centers on hair highlighting several themes such as self-love, doing life on your own terms and more.
Lead actor, Sanaa Lathan says Nappily ever after represents “new beginnings for inclusivity” and encourages women to fall in love with themselves. She says “What I really hope people take away from Nappily Ever After is that it’s a film about falling in love with yourself but done through the vehicle of hair.”
Sanaa further adds that the movie is didactic and it’s major aim is to correct stereotypes about hair especially Black Women’s hair.
“Black women are told all their life that straight, long hair is the epitome of beauty. You see it through images in the media, fairy tales—even my mother had what you’d call silky, more European hair. I remember always wanting that. We were read fairy tales, and fairy tales is kind of what helps us determine what our values are as little girls. And when you read Cinderella…and you don’t see yourself reflected, what does that do to you on a deep unconscious self-esteem way?”
Sanaa says, even though she grew up confident and eventually proud of her hair, she still struggled with acceptability. “I went to private schools up until high school where I was pretty much one of the only black girls. It was very clear that my hair was different. My mom would put it in two puff balls and send me off to school, where my classmates would stare and say, “Ooh, let me touch it.” From such a young age, it made me feel bothered.”
She continues, “I eventually grew up confident and secure in myself-and then I became an actress. When I’d go to auditions, I’d literally get feedback saying, “She’s the best actress, but can she make her hair look more like this girl?” That girl, of course, would have long curly hair down her back. In other words: “acceptable” black hair. Hair that, in order for me to get, I’d have to wear a wig or a weave. All the people giving the jobs in Hollywood thought that was more beautiful. They’re all victims of our society’s conditioning on beauty standards too.”
Here are some lessons we took out from the movie.
- You need to learn to love yourself, fiercely and absolutely. Once you do, it becomes easier to love others.
- Perfection is boring. You really do not have to have it all together. Loose the pressure and enjoy yourself in all your flawsomeness.
- Never let anyone’s negative opinion of you become your reality.
- Define your beautiful and embrace it.
- Even if society says otherwise, it is okay to do you and do life on your own terms.