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Chris Rock, a man with two daughters, asks about good hair, as defined by Black Americans, mostly Black women. He visits Bronner Brothers' annual hair convention in Atlanta. He tells us about sodium hydroxide, a toxin used to relax hair. He looks at weaves, and he travels to India where tonsure ceremonies produce much of the hair sold in America. A weave is expensive: he asks who makes the money. We visit salons and barbershops, central to the Black community. Rock asks men if they can touch their mates' hair - no, it's decoration. Various talking heads (many of them women with good hair) comment. It's about self image. Maya Angelou and Tracie Thoms provide perspective. Written by
Good Hair is a documentary where comedian Chris Rock being motivated by a question by his young daughter, seeks to find out more about African American hair, hair styles, barbershops and everything in between. His search takes him to some very different parts of the world and shows a lot of people, especially women, who will pay thousands of dollars, for what they would consider "good hair". Good Hair really took me by surprise. When, I looked at the premise of the film before I went to see it, I figured it probably would be very funny what with Chris Rock being a part of it and all, but I also was not expecting to see a film that is hilarious in spots and also sometimes disturbing and altogether very thought provoking and well put together. I am one individual who knows little, or nothing about hair. I get my hair cut and I know the type of style I like, I know the shampoos I like as well as the way I want it to look in the morning, but I know little to nothing else about it. Good Hair explores African American hair and hairstyles, which is also something I knew nothing about and as I was watching and seeing the lengths people went to and the money they poured out of their wallets, just to be beautiful in their own eyes and the expectations of society and others, well, it really said something to me. As pretty much anyone can tell you, we are still living in a day and society where looks seem to mean everything. If you want to find the perfect love match, you have to look a certain way as well as getting a good job and keeping employed and having self confidence about yourself. But is spending all this money and using these deadly chemicals really going to help your self esteem, or get you further in life than the way you look now? I think it is always important for a person to take pride in their appearance and present themselves as confident people and I think sometimes your appearance can say a lot about you, especially on first impressions, but I think that the most important part of your looks should be coming from yourself and not just wearing tons of makeup, or the most lavish and expensive clothes, which are the "in" thing at the moment. Wear what you want when you want and just be yourself. I think it is way more attractive to see someone who has their own sense of being unique and their own views and philosophies on things and not just caters, or sells themselves out to all these commercials, advertisements, or trying to act and look like the fashion models we see on television. I think with this film, Chris Rock and the others involved behind the camera are trying to get the point across about how it's not about outer beauty, but inner beauty and not what your hair, or head looks like, but what is inside that counts. The film might sound like it might not be the most thrilling, or interesting documentary subject around, but I was very pleased with how engrossed and fascinated I was by learning about these people and why their looks meant so much to them as well as learning about hair in other cultures as well. Good Hair gives us a lot to think and talk about and will often disturb us and having us roaring with laughter while doing so. I found this to be a powerful and thought provoking film that gets across a wonderful issue of inner beauty and doing it in a way where people can be entertained and laugh while viewing it. A great achievement indeed. Whether you are male, or female, black, or white Good Hair has a message for all of us and is definitely worth seeing. One of the best films of 2009 and a real shame it was not nominated at the Oscars for Best Documentary.
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