When I saw the preview of ‘Nappily Ever After’ featuring Sanaa Lathan and Lynn Whitfield on Netflix, I hoped the film would show a deeply relatable topic of a Black woman’s relationship with her hair explored on-screen. While it wasn’t what I expected, here are three ways that the movie inspired me.
‘NAPPILY EVER AFTER’ – FEELING OUR CULTURE
1)It affirmed that no one can tell our stories better than we can. This movie is based on a book written by a black woman named Trisha Thomas. But, on imdb.com she appears at the bottom of the list of writers. First on the list is a white man. The director? A non-black woman. Because some parts of the movie didn’t feel real and some of the lines didn’t feel authentic, I wonder if the diversity in the screenwriter and director played a role. And while part of me is just glad to see movies like this being made, I’m reminded that we should be telling our own stories from inception to production. Would ‘Nappily Ever After’ have felt more authentic throughout if the main screenwriter was African American like Trisha Thomas?
2) It highlighted the fact that there are still stories to be told and so many facets of our culture to be explored. I watched ‘Nappily Ever After’ expecting a story about a black woman falling in love with her natural hair. There were brief moments when the idea of loving natural black hair came up, but it wasn’t a theme like I had hoped and expected it would be. This story may resonate with other Black women because although many of us have shared experiences (like the dreaded hot comb and avoiding water at all costs), we don’t all process our experiences in the same way. I didn’t see my personal journey with natural hair reflected but that means that women whose stories are similar to mine are still waiting to see themselves in a movie like this. Sanaa Lathan’s character seemed to find acceptance of who she is despite her hair, while many of us have found that loving our “nappy” hair is a part of who we are.
WE MUST KEEP TELLING OUR STORIES
3) It reminded me that we are living in an opportune era for Black films. Since the success of Black Panther, we’ve seen Netflix offer deals to numerous Black creators. We have to continue to create great content that people will enjoy, and further prove that investing in black writers, producers, directors, actors, and crew members is worth it.
Check out ‘Nappily Ever After’ on Netflix and let me know what you think about the film. Did it feel authentic to you? Check out the trailer below.