Photo Credit: YouTube
In 2009, Chris Rock released Good Hair, a documentary that put a heat lamp on the subject of black hair, how women feel about it and what they do with it. The issue has many strands, but among the most incendiary: Are African American women -- girls in particular -- ashamed of their hair? Rock says he was inspired after his little daughter asked him one day, "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?" (Willow Smith clearly has no such issue).
Enter Sesame Street. Yes, Sesame Street. Coming fresh off a Katy Perry controversy last month, they released a music video in October featuring an African American girl puppet -- if such distinctions can be made in a world where skins also come in purple, blue and pink -- who sings "I really, really, really love my hair. Wear a clippy or in a bow, or let it sit in an afro, my hair looks good in a cornrow..." In terms of 'do diversity, she's even got Alicia Keys beat.
Sesame Street head writer and puppeteer Joey Mazzarino tells NPR that he wrote the lyrics last year when his 4-year-old daughter Segi, who was adopted from Ethiopia, didn't embrace her hair.
"She wanted to have long blond hair and straight hair, and she wanted to be able to bounce it around," Mazzarino said. After originally thinking it was a problem only for African American kids with white parents, he soon realized it was much bigger deal.
But the biggest issues in society often have to be tackled at the earliest possible moment, and this one certainly and admirably does -- with plenty of bounce to boot.
Do you think the Sesame Street video will help girls feel better about their hair? Chime in now!