Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Good Hair"


After seeing Chris Rock's "Good Hair", I am overwhelmed with mixed emotions. A little offended by the unexpected truth, but it is what it is...

The documentary is based on the upkeep of the African American mane. I gasped during many shocking revelations throughout the film, partly embarrassed and somewhat ashamed of the value we (African American women) place on something so simple, yet so complex: hair.

The most angering assumption is that black women get relaxers to look more like white women. Although I can only speak for myself in this case, I can safely say that the majority of black women will expel that claim. I got my first relaxer before I turned 10 years old and it wasn't because I wanted to look more like the little white girls. My mom gave me a "kiddie perm" because, like most little black girls, my hair was too nappy to comb.

My reasoning for getting relaxers now, besides the fact that my hair is now addicted to the chemicals, is because it makes my hair a whole lot easier to manage. It's no secret that relaxers can in fact damage one's hair, but once you go crack you can never go back. Nicknamed "creamy crack" for obvious reasons, the formula, for some, is much needed. Ironically, though I got my first relaxer before I got my period, I don't recommend nor do I condone little girls getting relaxers before they enter high school. Nor do I respect a male who chooses to rock relaxed hair like it's manly. But that's a different story...

Weave = the second aspect of the film that opened my eyes to the ugly truth. Surprisingly, it has been a year since I've worn "fake" hair. I got my first weave shortly after I got my first relaxer, for the same reason. Weave is a black woman's best friend. Sad, but true. Every black woman will or already has gone through the experience of bonding, tracking, braiding or netting (Google for explanations of each). However, if we all knew where the "fake" hair that we choose to wear actually comes from, the weave franchise probably wouldn't be as successful as it is.

In the movie, Chris Rock highlights the origin, showing Indian women being shaved bald and donating their hair for religious purposes... only to have American women flaunt it religiously. Crazy ain't it? Some women will pay thousands of dollars for someone else's hair. That's a major problem. The most I've ever paid for a hairdo is $150 and I considered that to be way too much. In hindsight, we as black women are popularizing and exploiting a product that we don't even own. However, when it comes to white women and weave, it's not considered that big of a deal. Maybe it's because their fake flaunting, labeled as extensions, is never obvious... but I digress.

"Good Hair" was very informative, but at times it seemed as if Rock was mocking the black woman... as if it's wrong to place such value on hair when behind it is where beauty lies for some women. Or making a joke of black men not being able to touch it. Damn right! Especially if I just spent eight hours at the salon suffering from relaxer burns and toasting under the dryer just to get that perfect look.

All joking aside, hair is hair. And what one chooses to do with it is his or her own choice. Freedom of bleach!

Me rocking my "natural look"
Good hair? You be the judge...

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lyrically Speaking


Music is my soul
the method of my existence
A day without song leaves me drifting in the distance

I function to the beat
It guides me as I jive
Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t drive
without the fuel that keeps me alive

The rhythm gets me moving
Left, right, forward
Constant inspiration
for the goal I’m leaning toward

One listen to a tune
Now my day can begin
The hours tick by and the same way
it ends

Words ignite in me
A pyrrhic sensation
So I write
until I reach an emotional revelation

Harmonious sounds caress my ears
and release me from all of my constricting fears

I’m free…

Not a victim of soundless tranquility
But an obsessor of beautiful melody

I can see, I can breathe, I can dream, I can be

Because

I have Music
and Music has me
I sat down for 10 minutes and quickly jotted down 20 of my favorite R&B songs, no particular order or era:
  1. Brandy-Have You Ever
  2. Alicia Keys-If I Ain't Got You
  3. Mary J. Blige-Not Gon' Cry
  4. Usher-U Got It Bad
  5. Mario-Let Me Love You
  6. Beyonce-Irreplaceable
  7. Ne-Yo-So Sick
  8. Keyshia Cole-Love
  9. Aaliyah-The One I Gave My Heart To
  10. LeToya Luckett-Torn
  11. Boys II Men-I'll Make Love To You
  12. Trey Songz-Can't Help But Wait
  13. Mariah Carey-We Belong Together
  14. Whitney Houston-I Will Always Love You
  15. Monica-Don't Take It Personal
  16. Nsync-Gone
  17. Chris Brown-Say Goodbye
  18. Rihanna-Take A Bow
  19. Omarion-O
  20. J. Holiday-Bed

Judging from the list, it appears as though I have a thing for love songs. Hmmm...

*Music is Life... Poetry is Love*