Most of the reviews I’ve read of Chris Rock’s Good Hair talk about how much white people stand to learn about black people’s hair from watching it, but I figure I could probably learn quite a bit about the topic myself.
I won’t be seeing Good Hair, at least until it comes on cable, because Chris Rock movies are the absolute worst. The more Chris Rock is involved in the creation of a film, the worse it is. But even if he’s just acting in a film, that’s bad enough.
There was a period of time, after his seminal HBO special Bring the Pain (which remains genuinely brilliant), lasting until very recently, when I would watch pretty much anything with Chris Rock in it: Pootie Tang; that movie where he’s running for president; the umpteen subsequent, inferior HBO specials – the most recent of which being the absolute worst. I even saw I Think I Love My Wife in the theater.
I know, what was I thinking.
Anyway, I’ve read a few stories about Good Hair in the past couple of weeks on the Root, which (perhaps predictably) has become increasingly silly, and I saw Chris Rock and Nia Long on the show Toure hosts on Fuse, and it got me to thinking. From the time I was born until the time I was 28, i.e. just now, I’ve hardly so much as thought about black women’s hair. It’s amazing to me that it’s such an object of obsession for black women, in that it’s been a complete nonissue for me.
Don’t get me wrong. As I’ve probably mentioned on this site every now and again, I like nothing more than a full, healthy head of hair on a woman… except for maybe a few other physical traits of a woman that I don’t think I need to get into here. I’ve fielded enough emails from women trying to show off various parts of their bodies to know that the Internets must be even more familiar with my own psyche than I am. It’s just one of those weird hidden benefits of spending your entire adulthood letting people know which women you’d most like to bang, both as a career and for your own personal amusement.
But come to think of it, most of my fascination with hair has focused on white women’s hair. Ever since I heard about Good Hair, I keep finding myself looking at women’s ‘dos, and it’s occurred to me that black women’s hair must be the most insane shit that you’d never even think about, unless you had some sort of reason to. I guess hair is like any other part of a woman’s body, in that it’s essentially invisible, unless it’s remarkable, in which it jumps right out at you. You don’t walk around all day looking at women’s tits, but if a woman has an especially nice rack, you can’t not notice them, even if there’s a coat over them. Some quality you just can’t hide. So perhaps the reason I’d never noticed black women’s hair is because: why would I want to look at black women’s hair?
Here’s a neat trick, if you’re like me and you could hardly give a rat’s ass about even white women’s hair, unless it looks like one of these shampoo commercials, in which case you have to fight the reflexive urge to reach for your wallet. The next time you’re in a discount store, or some place where you’re likely to find a lot of black women, take a look at their heads. That’s what I’ve done for the past couple of weeks now, and I’ve noticed, black women’s hair almost always looks retarded. If it’s some crack ho with hair like Buhweet, then it goes without saying. But even if it’s a woman who’s clearly drawing a check from somewhere, and hence can afford to spend the time and effort to keep her hair in order, it almost certainly doesn’t look quite right. It might look decent enough at a glance, but it doesn’t stand up to strict scrutiny.
For starters, there must not be a very good way to incorporate someone else’s hair into your own hair, regardless of how much money you spend. I know, from having watched the trailer to Good Hair, that weave can run into the thousands of dollars. And obviously most women here in Missouri, where there’s just not that kind of money floating, are choosing to roll with a less expensive option. Their weave didn’t come from a Cambodian woman (like Diddy’s breast milk), it must have come from a horse. Or worse, if that’s possible. A solid 95% of the weave I’ve seen doesn’t even look like hair, let alone that woman’s hair. And the other 5% falls into that category where it’s just too good to be true, where the weave looks even a bit better than “good” hair, and hence not as good. However, I do give props to women who fall into that 5% – just like I find that the absolute best-looking women (emphasis on the word absolute) have breast implants. If you disagree, you haven’t seen enough pr0nography. Call me in five years and apologize.
The other main problem you see with black women who have at least tried to do something with their hair is that they’ve applied some sort of chemical relaxer to it to make it nice and silky smooth, like Michelle Obama and/or one of these broads you might see on the cover of Essence magazine. Which is a good thing, mind you. As far as I’m concerned, that “creamy crack” look might be the best thing black women have got going (hairwise). It’s just that there’s never quite enough hair to pull it off. It stops right at the ears, when it should come all the way down to the shoulders. (At least.) Or maybe it is shoulder length, but if you notice, it’s very thin. It only really looks full from a certain angle. Like a fat woman’s pictures on MySpace. If only there was some sort of chemical to make black women’s hair grow a touch faster than it does. It wouldn’t be as naturally awesome as a white woman’s hair, but as Roger Ebert (who probably knows a lot more about black women’s hair than I do) pointed out in his review of good hair, it’s not like white women don’t use chemicals in their hair.
I think I speak for all men, when I say that I could give a rat’s ass about how a woman goes about looking right. As long as she looks right. And the truth of the matter is that I’m not even sure how important hair is in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps the most bizarre thing about Good Hair is how black women are so obsessed with their hair, when there’s so many other things they could be obsessed with. I’m no advocate of the ski ball look, but Amber Rose doesn’t even have hair, and she still managed to bag Kanye. Yeah, part of that is so he can pretend she’s a guy when he’s shoving it in her pooper, but he wouldn’t be bringing her to these events with him, if she wasn’t smokin’. Kanye’s shallow like that. Could she have hair like a normal woman, if she wanted to? Maybe, but she didn’t even have to. And that’s the thing to keep in mind here. You might not be able to grow a full, healthy head of hair, but there’s almost certainly something else you could do to make yourself more desirable to the opposite sex. The white standard of beauty may not be forgiving, but a man is.