Netflix debuted Nappily Ever After, a new movie starring Sanaa Lathan called While the movie is new, the played-out tropes targeting black women isn’t. High-powered, career driven black women has everything in life going for her except for the one thing she desires–the IBM (ideal black man) doctor she’s been dating for two years asking for her hand in marriage. The primary conflict the character faces is her relationship with her hair, which originated with her mother straightening her hair into submission. She had learned early that under no circumstance would she allow the true nature of her hair to be revealed.
After it is clear that her IBM wasn’t ready to pop the question, Sanaa’s character, Violet, goes through a series of hairstyles that ultimately leads her to throw up deuces and shave her hair bald.
She goes through a journey of acceptance that leads her to a beauty salon owner with a daughter with a penchant for felonious behaviors. The salon owner has a humble home and vision to bring healthy hair care products using the leaves and herbs he grows in his home and garden.
While on her learn to love her hair as it grows on her head, the physical change gives the impetus for a larger, emotional evolution of the character. In this end, when she finally is an arm’s reach of the (literally) golden ring and marry the doctor, she comes to an epiphany that she’s no longer interested in modifying her hair or mindset in order to be accepted, and the movie ends with the promise of her and the male beautician will walk out in the sunset with one another–just not during the movie as it closes with Violet confidently walking down the sidewalk, content in this particular phase of her life to live Nappily Ever After.
“Nappily Ever After” is yet another black Cinderella story that indirectly teaches black women to reach back and give “the hard working brotha” a chance and take on his baggage. The lowkey shaming of black women who deign to desire highly successful men is so Tyler Perry and I for one am over it.
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