“Changing the world. One head at a time.”
By now, I’m certain you have read several reviews and have most likely watched this anticipated film already for yourself. By the title, you should know that I am referring to “Nappily Ever After” (on Netflix). This movie turned book titled, Nappily Ever After by Trisha R. Thomas, was instantly placed on my favorites list. I have watched this film twice you guys…two and a half to be exact. The first time was for my enjoyment and the second was for content purposes (but I still fully enjoyed it). I began my third time viewing but I only got half way through.
If there has ever been a movie that all women could identify with, it would be “Nappily Ever After.” Specifically, African American women can allow this movie to resonate on some level. Even more specifically, it has had a positive impact on the natural hair community for many obvious reasons.
“Nappily Ever After” is relatable to women who have experienced the bondage by the need to be perfect and view straight hair to be the golden ticket to elevation and privilege. This film sheds light on the relationship we have with our hair, our mothers (or parents), with our significant others and how we even view ourselves.
Sanaa Lathan has already shown us via social media, how to fiercely love ourselves and embrace our natural beauty simply by embracing her own. Most recently, Sanaa shaved her head or as the natural hair community would say, she did the Big Chop as an essential part of the movie for the role she played as Violet or Vi as called by her close friends and family. Sanaa received an outpouring of love and aspiration from women all over who are or have been on the same journey with their natural hair and sef-exceptance. She is just as beautiful now as she was before this defining moment and looks absolutely gorgeous.
In “Nappily Ever After,” Sanaa’s character, Violet sets her path of self-discovery after a romantic setback. Though, that decision to cut off all of her hair was a pivotal moment in her life, she was no longer treated or looked at the same by men or women alike (her mother especially). You can imagine the surprising shock she had after shaving her head in her emotional, drunken state. It wasn’t until she began accepting her true self that she was able to live freely without approval from others. If you noticed Violet’s hair was already natural or chemical free from the beginning. From childhood, her mother hot combed her hair and even maintained the upkeep of her tresses as an adult by flat ironing it periodically. P. S. love Lynn Whitfield by the way who plays her mother! She is always playing somebody’s momma on television and the big screen. Violet did not actually embrace being natural although her hair was not relaxed. There is so much more I can say! I will not give all the deets in the movie because I want you to enjoy it.
So here are some of my thoughts that were influenced by Nappily Ever After. “Zoe, don’t ever let someone’s negative opinion of you become your reality.”
In the words of my big sister (in my head) India Arie, “I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.” If I had to give this movie a theme song, this would be it. I absolutely love this movie.! Violet reminds us that there is more to us than what is on the outside. Shaving her head was only a turning point that lead her on a path of self-love and self-discovery. One of my favorite quotes from the movie that Violet says to Zoe was, “Don’t ever let someone’s negative opinion of you become your reality”. Can I say that one again? Don’t ever let someone’s negative opinion of you become your reality. NEVER. People will have their opinions and they are entitled to them. We must decide whether to receive their negativity or disregard it. We are often complimented on our looks before our intelligence as if physical features are dominant over our minds.
Telling us we are pretty for a black girl is far from being a compliment. Women of color have been oversexualized and overlooked from the time of slavery. Our bodies and features have been objectified by even our own people. Today, there are so many beautiful brown skinned women promoting positive images of women of color that our little girls can look up to. They need to know that they are more than their hair and body. Women need to be reminded of this also. God created us all fearfully and wonderfully in His image. As much as I love having natural hair, I know that it is a part a me and not who I am as a whole person. Beauty is not defined by our physical features. Who we are and how we treat others exudes true beauty. Our beauty and our hair are to complement our natural essence, not to become a mask hiding who we are.
So, have you seen Nappily Ever After yet? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
(Disclaimer): I recommend this movie to my sisters. It is so empowering and funny. But if you are viewing with your little sisters, be cautious of a few adult scenes.
Looking for an encouraging reminder of who you are in Christ, click here for my latest blog on Favored Freauxs Blog.