I love my hair!

by

Have you seen the Sesame Street video of the unnamed little puppet who is singing about how much she loves her hair?

A few days ago I read about this video on another blog – at the same time a friend was posting the video on my facebook page. You see, I’d asked for ideas about Coconut’s crazy curly hair.

Well, this video is amazing for three reasons.

One, it sends a powerful message to little girls who are Afro-Caribbean. This little puppet embraces her curly, wonderful, fabulous natural hair. Now, I’m not black – while my pictures are headless, presumably you’ve seen I’ve got white arms.

But I’ve worked with families where very young children are having bleach rubbed into their skin to lighten it, where unbelievably young girls are losing their hair due to overprocessing – trying to straighten it. And it’s their parents doing these things.

In a world where majority culture (of any kind) is flooding our media, no wonder it inundates our sense of self.

The next reason this video is awesome?? The self-esteem this little girl has!

All little girls – and boys – are sent messages all the time about the best way to be. Thin. Hip. Precocious. It’s easy to see why so many children and young people are struggling to love themselves.

This video? The girl is rocking out one of her characteristics that mainstream society might not relish – her kinky, curly, black hair. Everytime I watch it I smile, wishing this self-joy and happiness for all of us – adults included.

Final reason? The backstory. The head writer of Sesame Street is a dad to a five year old girl who was adopted. He’s Italian American, she’s African American. She’s playing with dolls and wishing she had long, blonde, bouncing hair.

Her dad found this worrying, so wrote the song for her. He used it to tell her all the things he loves about her hair. This one act of parental love has inspired children and adults across the world.

That sort of power speaks to me – feeling passionately about something on a personal level, and using that motivation to impact the larger community.

So, you want to see the video? Watch. Learn. Let the happiness of this anonymous Muppet reach out to you and help you discover love for the parts of you that you are tempted to dislike.

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2 Responses to “I love my hair!”

  1. Dora Says:

    Love it! I have “crazy curly” hair. I fought with it for many, many years before I embraced it. My suggestions re coconuts hair are: 1) Pick up a copy of this book, and 2) check out this website. The message boards are a great resource, there’s even one forum for “Parents of curlies”.

  2. Lauren Says:

    I love this entry 🙂
    You wrote this on the same day I was told by a black girl that I “have to” straighten my (unborn) mixed-race child’s hair. Umm. No thanks, I don’t think I will be sending my child the message that their appearance needs to be changed.

    I also have experience with hating my curly hair. I straightened it from about the age of 12 because I thought it was the only way I could not be ugly. It’s now been three years since I last abused my curls with the irons and I have never been more comfortable in my appearnace! My friends and boyfriend are horrified that I ever went through the straightening phase.

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