“We have been told and taught from the time we were little girls, that being brown isn’t the prettiest. That kinky hair or textured hair isn’t attractive, but I want you to know that is a LIE.” -Sanaa Lathan
This quote, stated so beautifully from the star of the Netflix original Nappily Ever After, spoke to me. My heart grew attached to Violet’s character in the beginning of the movie, when they highlighted her childhood. She reminded me of my younger self. Growing up, and even now, my love for my natural hair grew with age. It seemed as if even though I was growing to love what I saw in the mirror, the world didn’t. Much like Lathan’s character, Violet, I got consumed in feeling like if my hair wasn’t “appealing” to societal standards then I wasn’t appealing. I never thought I’d be able to confidently wear my own hair in its natural state and still be appealing to a significant other…until now.
In the movie, Violet is faced with heartbreak after not being proposed to by her long time boyfriend. He explained to her that he felt like he didn’t know the real her. This causes the couple to break up and puts Violet in a downward spiral that results in her shaving all her hair off. Women everyday deal with the insecurity of not feeling comfortable in their own skin around loved ones. I had to learn over the years that you have to love yourself more than you love the opinions of others. Prioritizing what other people think about you will put you in situations and relationships that were never meant for you.
A lot of people were unsettled by the ending of the movie when Violet Jones chose to walk on her own. I had a different reaction and related to her character even more towards the end. As a single woman, there’s a thin line between pleasing yourself and wanting to appeal to others. I have been Violet both before and after her epic big chop. I know what it is to want to meet the idea of perfection set forth by your significant other, and to think perfection was self love. I wanted to be loved so badly for what I looked like when I was “perfect”. This movie really helped to open my eyes to the issue a lot of women face with self love. If I haven’t already given away too much, take the time to watch Nappily Ever After on Netflix and tell us what you think!