Nappily Ever After: Finding Yourself Amid Societal Confinements (12/13/2018)

So, let’s first start by saying this post is long overdue. However, I have finally gotten the opportunity to share my thoughts about Netflix’s latest breakout movie Nappily Ever After. If you didn’t get the hint from the film’s title and this article, you should know that this movie is focused on hair. Accurately, African American hair. And if you want to get even more detailed, African American Women’s hair and styling processes.

The streamable movie, which debuted in late September on the service, features famous movie actress Sanaa Lathan as Violet Jones. Violet is a highly successful marketing promotor that has lived most of her life in the confines of the ideal “perfect” image. Spurred on by her mother’s likes, Paulette Jones, who is portrayed by acting legend Lynn Whitfield, Violet struggles with accepting her hair and appearance in its natural form. From starting her day too early to groom and mull over her appearance to avoiding wet situations, Violet has settled in an unnatural and un-maintainable lifestyle.

In typical, Lifetime Movieesque” fashion, her world comes tumbling down as she is given the reality check of a lifetime when her long-term boyfriend presents that he has grown bored with her perfection. Naturally, a person that has spent most of their life conforming to images of beauty that are often mainstream and westernized standards would want to change everything and go for a more daring path in life to end their current problem. And Violet does just that. If you haven’t seen the movie, I will hold back on providing a full overview of the film.

But if you have seen the movie, I will say that I was happy with the ending and the overall message that the film represented. For far too long, the African American and other minoritized communities have accepted what has been forced upon them as “beauty” standards and norms. That mindset and time are now viewed as toxic. Watching Violet display both her struggles and triumphs as she discovered her true feelings for her beauty was rewarding and refreshing to see. Over the past few years, the natural hair and natural movement have gained a lot of attention from beauty companies and fashion houses. Hair product lines have now targeted and marketed their products to people that feel their natural beauty is more than enough.

One final message that I gleaned from the film was the importance of surrounding yourself with people who believe in your overall life visions and development. I am a firm believer that your life’s journey is not a straight path. There are several twists and turns and even plot changes that ultimately shape you as a person. With that in mind, it is quickly forgotten that sometimes the people that start your journey with you don’t always continue or end it with you and vice versa. Despite Nappily Ever After having a quirky delivery, it represented the quirkiness of life when you search for yourself and who you ultimately present to the world. Catch it on Netflix while it’s available!

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