Hot Combs and Perms are like kryptonite to natural hair. Historically Black women, we’ve always had this idea that straight was beautiful, but throughout the years embracing our natural hair has become an ongoing phenomenon. The natural-hair movement has been around since the late 2000’s. Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, and Yara Shahidi are just a few faces that we see in Hollywood that embrace their natural hair. Yes, there are movies that show actresses with natural hair. For example, “Black Panther” and “Dear White People”, but what about showing the real struggle that black women go through in order to truly embrace their natural hair? Sanaa Lathan and Netflix decided to show the true struggle in “Nappliy Ever After”.
“Nappily Ever After” is a self-love drama that most women can relate too. The story is based on a novel by Trisha R. Thomas, who came under scrutiny for the title. Many people thought that Thomas was “glorifying” nappy hair, but Thomas was quoted as saying, “The words to me are irrelevant. It’s more about the intent behind it. What are people putting behind it? There is nothing wrong with the word. My whole structure behind the book was to put nappy and happy together. If you’ve read the books, you know that this is about having a positive state of mind”. She wanted to focus on the struggles of feeling beautiful and finding yourself throughout the novel.
“Nappliy Ever After” focuses on Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan) who has it all. The perfect hair and the perfect relationship, but all that comes crashing down with one visit to the hair salon. With the help of a soulful barber and his outspoken daughter they help her realize that she’s not living her life to the fullest. Sanaa Lathan best explained her role by stating, “My character [Violet] is in crisis, and everything that she thought she knew is unraveling. So the emotions were all over the place for me—because I’m playing Violet, but I’m also shaving my head! It was actually really powerful and kind of weirdly cathartic and freeing". The decision for Sanaa Lathan to shave her hair was difficult, mainly because she always had long hair. Lathan says that change is more than just a cut, "[It feels like this is time] in terms of women of color coming into this amazing renaissance of owning who they are, and owning all of their beauty in whatever shape, size, color it is. There’s no more cookie-cutter, like, 'This is the ideal'”.
“Nappily Ever After” includes a well put together cast. Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf) and Lryriq Bent (Tyler Perry’s Acrimony) are a few names that you can expect to see in the movie. Ricky Whittle (The 100), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), and Racquel B. John (Burning Sands) will also be making guest appearances throughout the movie as well. “Nappily Ever After” will be released on Netflix, September 21.
View the official trailer below: