After seeing previews and reading numerous reviews on the Internet, I finally got to see for myself what Chris Rock’s Good Hair buzz was all about. Overall, I thought the film was very entertaining. It was informative, laugh out loud funny and even sad at times. Just as he does within his stand-up comedy routines, Chris Rock, while making people laugh, brought to light a social issue, this one being the topic of hair within the black community. But, not everyone is laughing.
“The thing about comedies is that no matter how serious the topic is, if the comedian is funny enough, the viewers who didn’t take the topic seriously beforehand, probably will not take the issue seriously afterward,” explains Gee of AfroGlitz in a blog entitled, Chris Rock: Helping or Harming?
The author goes on to write, “In other words, opening up our eyes and combating the issue usually goes completely out of the window. It’s almost as if the documentary was mocking a black woman’s insecurity issues. The standardized black celebrity beauties show up to the preview with their hair styled in ways that pretty much prove the documentary’s point, they watch a documentary poking fun at our issues, they get a good laugh, and then go back home. For an issue that has negatively affected our community for over a century, this is not the time to be joking around. We just can’t afford it.”
As a response to taking a lighthearted look at the issue, Mireille Liong creator of Going-Natural wrote, “While you shouldn’t expect to get an in-depth view or answer from this comedy-documentary, it shows enough funny truths to get people talking. I was happy to see that Chris didn’t hesitate to take this issue on and proof the dangers of the chemical straighteners in his movie. … Even my husband who knew about the dangers of relaxers was shocked. The visual on the big screen truly brought home the message and he was not the only one.”
Mireille added, “Still, the best thing about Good Hair is the debate it sparked. Not only did this film finally give Black and White women an opportunity to touch upon a most delicate and literally untouchable issue for centuries, the comedy also triggered deep seeded emotions and opened up the conversation about Black hair. Check out her entire review.
I also agree with many reviews that I have read stating that there was not a good representation of natural hair wearers in the film. Ansylla Ramsey of Holistic Hair Care agreed as well, “ Good Hair was entertaining and informative. Though natural hair was mentioned, it would have been nice to see it better represented and discussed.” She points out a scene showing a group of young women speaking on whether natural hair was suitable in the professional workplace.
“One young lady says to a young lady with natural hair that she doesn’t feel that a ‘fro’ is professional. The young lady with natural hair didn’t even respond. … That would have been a great opportunity to include some dialog about natural hair.” She went on to say, “The movie explains that relaxers are toxic and harmful, the cost of weaves can be outrageous, so why not discuss a healthy, affordable alternative?”
Lady Kinnks creator of Kinnks.com a natural hair online resource also chimed in on the representation of naturals and the comedic aspects of the film. In her blog review, she shared, “This is a great opportunity for us as a community to see US on the big-screen, not representations of us directed by someone else. If you are interested in Black hair, this is a must see documentary. Just remember it is a comedy.” She went on to add, “Of course I would have liked to see Good Hair talk about the Black Natural Hair community, but I think that’s a separate documentary in itself.”
The highlights of Good Hair for me were Reverend Al Sharpton’s recount of how the late James Brown introduced him to his first perm all for the cause of getting Martin Luther King’s birthday a federal holiday. The look inside of the Tonsure religious ceremony where believers shave their heads and in turn temples sell the sacrificed hair to make hair weave. A’Lelia Bundles, Madam C.J. Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and biographer’s appearance. And the most riveting account came from that of Interior Designer, and advocate for The National Alopecia Areata Foundation, Sheila Bridges, speaking about having Alopecia.
Clutchettes and gents – did you see Good Hair? If so, what did you think?