This weekend, the Hubby and I rolled down the 401 to the AMC to see Good Hair. I wanted to leave early because of the crowds that would be at the theatre. I mean, the amount of buzz this movie was getting meant that there would be scores of Black people milling about and I would be forced to sit at the very front of theatre, craning my neck as I watched.
When we rolled up, the parking lot was full… but there is a lot of stuff around the theatre. There’s a Kitchen Stuff Plus (that’s my store), a Chapters, a grocery store, but I assumed that the cars belonged to the hoards of people who were quickly snatching up tickets. It’s a good thing that we bought ours online!
We parked and walked inside. I quickly got the tickets and guess what?
There was no one.
OK, not no one. There was the guy working at the concession counter who looked less than happy to be there. Who, with a grudgeful air, gave us our M&Ms. We went in and got our seats and the Hubby looked at me with disgust. “So much for all the people who are supposed to be here,” he said sourly.
Now, I preferred to be early than roll up during the trailers and be miserable because I’m excusing and pardoning myself through the packed rows. People would look cruelly at me as I whispered loudly, “Excuse me! Is there room for two?”
I can’t stand that person. I don’t want to be that person.
We got comfortable in our seats — dead centre and got ready to watch the film.
I was sure that I had already seen most of the good parts of the film by watching Oprah, Tyra and whatever other talk show Chris Rock had been on in the past weeks. I also know that Chris Rock is a comedian first, documentary filmmaker second, so unlike many people, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by some great revelation about Black hair.
That being said, I did enjoy the film. It was funny, but Chris delved into some very deep topics. Now, they didn’t stay too long on some topics and I wished that they had. For example, there was a short clip featuring three teenage girls talking about how natural hair isn’t professional, while the fourth, who’s rocking a cute ‘fro sits there and nods. I would have been interested to hear what she had to say. What were her reasons for wearing her natural hair? Is she thinking about relaxing or straightening her hair?
As actress Tracie Thoms said, why is it considered revolutionary to wear your hair the way it grew out of your head? I wonder the same thing. Sometimes hair is just hair — it’s not revolutionary, it’s not political… at least not for the person who’s living under it. For other people, it is and they put their issues on your hair.
One of the most poignant parts was a little three-year-old girl and her grandmother talking to Chris about hair. Chris tells the child he has a daughter her age, but her hair isn’t relaxed. The little girl looks perplexed and pretty much says that Chris’ daughter’s hair should be relaxed because everyone’s hair is relaxed. At three, how do you get an idea like that? Really? No wonder the Black hair care industry in the U.S. is a $9 billion industry.
I’m no fan of the Rev. Al Sharpton, but he spoke with some real sense in this documentary. The conversation turned to weaves and how women — of all economic levels — spent thousands of dollars on their weave. Now, it’s one thing for a Raven-Symone to spend tens of thousands of dollars on her hair because she has that kind of money (and just ’cause you have it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right to spend that kind of money on hair, but do you), but for me — a middle-class person — to throw down $1,500 on some hair is ridiculous.
BTW, was I the only person that wondered if Melyssa Ford really had enough money to be spending it on hair like that? I’m not hating, she’s a gorgeous girl and more power to her, but Melyssa, really, what do you do to be making enough money to spend $12,000 on your hair?
Rev. Sharpton said we were wearing our economic oppression on our heads. It’s so true! Preach, Rev, preach! Many women — not all, of course — are going into debt to wear the latest lace front or get the Indian remy hair or just to get their hair done regularly. I’ve seen some of these chicks with my own eyes and it’s disturbing. That was, to me, the best segment of the film. It’s one thing to go into debt for your education or to put a roof over your head, but for your head? Some people have their priorities in the wrong places.
What I wasn’t fussy with: the hair show was fun, but too long as far as I was concerned. I know nothing of the Bronner Bros. hair show, but it was interesting to see hair from that perspective. I would have liked to have seen him go more into the history of good hair vs. bad hair — that would have set the tone and context for the rest of the movie. The Hubby says that he would have liked to have seen what white women do with their hair to dispel some of the stereotypes about their hair. He also thought it would be cool to learn how much the hair industry impact India’s economy — more than technology, less than?
Overall, I liked it. I thought that, for a comedian, Chris Rock did a pretty good job talking about hair. I’d encourage anyone who wants to laugh and also learn about Black hair to check it out.
My last thought: Ice-T is a funny man, plain and simple.