“A sista ain’t happy…

When her hair is nappy.”

Alrighty then. That’s the ridiculous line that fell out of actress Niecy Nash’s mouth in a movie I watched today with my mom called “Code Name: The Cleaner.” It was an OK action/adventure/comedy/drama staring Cedric “The Entertainer.” Although released this year according to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB), I’d never heard of it. My mom was watching it today so I decided to sit a spell and enjoy it too since it looked like a fairly interesting plot was evolving.

Basically, Cedric’s character is a janitor named Jake “The Cleaner” Rogers, who is helping expose his company’s role in selling secrets to the enemy by altering codes in video games. He’s supposed to meet some men in a hotel to turn over a video chip when all hell breaks loose. In the malay that ensues, an FBI agent gets  killed while Jake gets hit on the head and knocked unconscious. Well when he comes to, he’s laying on the bed next to the dead agent, and as the plot would have it, he has short term memory loss and has no clue who he is nor does he know why he’s at the hotel to begin with.

Suffice it to say, the movie takes you through a variety of twists and turns…most of which are predictable. Others are simply absurd and in a few instances there are a couple of genuinely funny situations. But you better believe that with Cedric in a movie, there’s bound to be some stereotypical ethnic humor involved, which I find in most instances just plain not funny. For instance, why must black women always be portrayed as loud talking, head wagging, ghetto sounding, wig-wearing divas that won’t take nothin’ off nobody. Well guess what? That’s exactly the role Miss Nash, aka Jaccuzi in this movie, had the pleasure of playing. For some reason, (I’d stepped out of the room for a moment so I don’t really know why) Jake and his “boo” Gina, an undercover FBI agent played by Lucy Liu, need to kidnap Jaccuzi. From there, they go about their business exposing the bad guys and saving the day while apparently forgetting about Jaccuzi, who was left locked up in the trunk of a car for about eight hours. The next time Jake sees Jaccuzi, who has the hots for him, she tells Jake in no uncertain terms she didn’t appreciate being locked up in the trunk as it’s hell on a girl’s hair. He owes her, she declares loudly, a trip to her favorite salon to get her hair back right cause “A sista ain’t happy when her hair is nappy!”

Now I know this was supposed to be funny, but that line fell oh so flat with me. It was utterly absurd considering the fact that she was wearing a wig/weave that rivaled Rapunzel’s tresses minus the honey blond color. It was black as an oil slick and had enough shine to blind you. Really. I don’t think I’ve evah seen hair on anyone’s head that shiny before. How totally ridiculous that Hollywood tries to pass this crap off as black women’s natural hair and then in this particular instance drops snide remarks about nappy hair.

It’s all an interesting dichotomy, however. On the one hand you have marketers and advertisers who are consciously pushing the natural look, which is now very prevalent in TV commercials, displays in stores (Go to Target and you’ll get a nappy eyefull) and in hard copy media such as magazines, store circulars and mailers. Then you have Hollywood, who damn near refuses to have black women wear their hair any other way except undercover and topped off by long flowing lace-front wigs and weaves. 

Several very recent high-grossing, high-profile movies bear witness to this (as most do) including “Why Did I get Married?” and “This Christmas.” For once, it was quite refreshing to see Janet Jackson’s real hair in “Married?” I don’t think we’ve seen it since “Good Times.” But she was the ONLY sista sporting her own in that movie, and it looks to have thinned out considerably over the years, no doubt due to all the chemicals and weaves she’s worn during her career. That’s a long time to torture your hair, and she’s probably lucky to have any at all. And there was soo much weave flowing in “This Christmas” I’m surprised someone didn’t literally trip and fall over some fake hair.

Anyhoo, it’s clear that Hollywood and the marketing/advertising worlds are not in sync with one another. But as great as it is to see all the nappy heads in advertisments these days, I often wonder if the women are really natural, or if they are just wearing natural-looking wigs or weaves. If the latter is true, that doesn’t rankle my last nerve nearly as much as seeing black women who sport all this long, blowing-in-the-wind hair as if that’s the way it really grows from their heads. And is it just me? I swear it seems since lace fronts hit the scene, all this fake hair is getting longer and more outrageous. Just think Beyonce as you visualize for a moment. See what I mean?

I guess in the end Hollywood will continue to use the images they THINK sell. But if advertisers have finally seen the light, when is Hollywood going to open its eyes and figure out that nappy hair is beautiful enough to be on the big screen too. They just need to let us represent and do their part in dispelling the myth that black women can’t be desireable wearing their own hair or a reasonable likeness thereof. Plus, it’s just bogus to portray us as NEVER having nappy hair. We do, and it’s time that we are given the chance to represent. And contrary to their behind-the-times notions that everyone shuns nappy hair, us nappy-headed sistas know better and have something to say loud and clear: We are quite happy being nappy and ain’t nothing wrong with that!

Come on Hollywood get with the program and stop being so fake. Hmmm… Hollywood, NOT fake. That would be an oxymoron…never mind.

11 Responses to ““A sista ain’t happy…”
  1. Well said. ‘Nuff said. Hollywood, take YOUR cue!

  2. kl says:

    Target is on nappy overload, I go through the weekly insert just to check the hairstyles out.

  3. patricia says:

    hello, my name is Patricia, i’ve just gone natural. But my hair is really kinky and it’s hard to brush. My mom keeps wanting to relax my hair. What can i do?

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Patty,
    Welcome to NPP101.
    I saw your age in your blog and you’re plenty old enough to be doing your own hair. I certainly was and I was natural at that age. I didn’t get my first relaxer until I was 22 or 23 years old.

    So if you haven’t already you need to show your mom that you are willing to learn how to take care of your own hair. There are plenty of resources out there that can help get you started. You can join my forum cNappymeNow.com and ask questions related to your hair and we can certain answer any questions you might have. You can also read various articles about taking care of natural hair right here on my site. Check out the links on the right under Top Tips for nappy hair. Motowngirl.com also has good information about taking care of nappy hair.

    In the end, if you take mom out of the equation of doing your hair, perhaps she will stop pressuring you to relax.

    If you two have the kind of relationship where in this instance she’s not going to “make” you get a relaxer, just stand firm and respectfully continue to say no. You can just tell that in the long run, staying natural is much healtheir for your scalp and your hair.

    Take care and good luck. Let me know how things unfold.

  5. Sharon says:

    Well I’m into the 2nd year of natural hair, and I’m loving it, however I am aware that a lot brothers just won’t let their partners wear their hair natural. I find it so sad, because they are actually saying ‘we are not happy with our black women being who they truly are’ they’ve bought into the lie that straight hair is better hair, and of course this reflects in the way Hollywood portray black beauty – given the fact that black people have come so far in terms of equality, we are still so far away from self acceptance!

  6. nappygurlnaya23 says:

    I totally agree with you. Hollywood is fake, especially when it comes to the hair. I remember one instance in Something New when the white guy told the black woman, I just want to see you with all of that hair off off of your head. In other words, he was telling her that he wanted to see her natural. He wanted to love all of her, even her hair.

    This world is so flipped up, it’s pathetic. I, for one, am also tired of these commercials who make it look so darn easy and to make women think that their hair should be fried, dyed, and laid to the side. I have been trasitioning for six months, and I can see a dramatic difference in my hair. I have been getting perms since I was in the fourth (yes, fourth) grade. I had some bald spots in my hair, and it was thinning. But, since I’ve stopped torturning my hair and learned to embrace it, I see the difference, and I am loving it. Next week, I’m getting these ends clipped; I’m not ready for the BC yet. But, I’m not going to rush into it; I’m going to take it one day at a time. 🙂

  7. nappyme says:

    Hi Nappygurl!
    Yes! You would think that folks would be at least CURIOUS enough to see what their true hair looks like at some point in their lives…especially if they’ve been relaxed since childhood. Good for you for taking that step toward becoming natural. And as far as not doing your BC yet, I totally agree. You do what’s most comfortable for you.

    Good luck on your journey and take care!

  8. lilkemet says:

    Nappyme I am so glad I found your blog it is great. I agree with you keep speaking the truth my sista.

  9. nappyme says:

    Lilkemet welcome!
    Girl…I gotta keep it real!

    Take care!

  10. LaShawn says:

    I love nappy, cuz I love me!

  11. sunshine_blue_skies says:

    This film is ridiculous! It was a little funny but really stupid; I stopped watching it before they kidnapped her and I’m glad I did!

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