Beauty is as Beauty Does: Sesame Street and a 9 year old girl teach Black Girls (and Women) to Love Their Hair
If you haven’t seen the YouTube video posted throughout your friends’ FaceBook page or the articles overloading your RSS feed, you have been living under a rock for the past few days. Our childhood favorite, Sesame Street, recently gifted us with the “I Love My Hair” video paying homage to little black girls learning to love their hair. For African-American women, hair is a deeply rooted emotional issue that has come to light in the media since the release of comedian Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”.
The video features a brown muppet with an afro singing proudly about all of the many ways she can wear her hair. The video was inspired by Sesame Street’s head writer and puppeteer Joey Mazzarino who noticed his 4 year old daughter, adopted from Ethiopia, having difficulties embracing her hair amongst her blond hair, blue-eyed, playmates. Mazzarino began the lyrics to the song with “Don’t need a trip to the beauty shop, because I love what I got on top”. The entire song continues with words of self-love and pride that had Black women around the country leaving comments full of gratitude and pride that they can share with their daughters, nieces and sisters.
Almost coincidentally, Willow Smith, 9 year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, released her first music video that same week from her hot new single “Whip My Hair”. The video is full of energy, color and hair whipping so fun you will be rocking and whipping your hair by the end! The entire song is about being an individual, loving yourself and not caring about what others think about you.
It seems as though the children have this self-worth down. It’s time for the grown-ups to jump on the band wagon and redefine our ideas of beauty!