MY 2 CENTS ON THE MOVIE "NAPPILY EVER AFTER"


It was a split second decision. After turning on the hair clippers, half drunk and incredibly tired, Violet proceeds to start cutting her bleached blonde natural strands. The relief is immediate. While the clippers are gliding through her curly roots, tears are streaming down her face because she finally experienced the moment of pure freedom that she was longing for her whole life.

First of all, if you didn't have the chance to watch the movie "Happily Ever After" by film director Haifaa al- Mansour and based on the namesake novel written by the talented Trisha R. Thomas, you're wack. 
The movie tells the life of Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan), a gorgeous promising and talented black woman. Violet seemingly has everything: a beautiful house, solid relationship with a soon-to-be doctor, great job and a loving circle of friends and family. Violet is used to take care of herself. She likes to follow the latest fashion trends, always well dressed and with long, flat ironed hair.

Everything seemed to be going well up until Violet's birthday. She's been in this relationship with Clint for the past two years. She's ready now to be engaged, get married and create a family. After founding a small box in her boyfriend's jacket, she can already taste the victory in her mouth. Her whole world crumbles when she discovers that in the box there was no ring, but just a name tag for her brand new Chihuahua as a birthday gift. After asking for clarifications, Clint tells her that he doesn't know the real Violet, that in the past two years she always appeared perfect and didn't show her true colours and let her hair or guard down. 
During the next few weeks, we will see Violet having an unexpected Big Chop after having too many drinks, rocking a TWA and flat iron her hair when seeing the future in-laws.

I do believe that the story per se is not groundbreaking nor special. Violet is going through a breakup after an important love story and she finds a way to rediscover herself before starting a new relationship. I get it! What I loved and found different from the usual movies out there was the fact that a link between the mental state of a black person and their hair was explored and took into consideration.
For the Black community, hair is a delicate and complex matter
As a black woman who did a big chop, had TWA and is now sporting natural afro hair for the past 5 years, I could be Violet. Her every day relationship with her partner, friends or family are all deeply tied with her personal relationship with her hair. If her hair are laying down in the right way, everything is fine; if not, everything is a disaster. We don't want to admit it but the same thing, happen to most of us curly afro heads.
Small details like checking the weather forecast before leaving the house, having her mom retouch her roots as soon as they got too unruly, dodging the hot steam coming from the dishwasher, using just certain poses during intercourses and waking up earlier to "fix her hair" are just some of Violet's hair worries before the Big Chop. After cutting all of her hair off, she realises that there's more to life than taking care of her hair. I started bawling my eyes out because I had the same experience when cutting my relaxed strands. It was a relief and a surprise to being able to put myself in somebody else's shoes and say "I did that!" or "that's happened to me as well". 

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and would recommend any natural curly head out there to watch "Nappily Ever After". You won't be disappointed!


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