There’s something incredibly beautiful and reminiscent about Matthew A. Cherry’s short film, “Hair Love.”
Centered on a Black father and his precocious daughter, Zuri, the two take an incredible journey into styling the little girl’s hair for a special event. Oh, and it’s Daddy’s first time with the comb and hair grease.
This little slice of life will bring many of us back to the times when our fathers or father figures had to take on this task with our crown and glories. (I was about four when my Pops had to do my hair because my Mom went out of town. It was definitely a hot mess, but I know in my heart he did his best.)
Now prior to now, over the summer “Hair Love” was seen in theaters, opening for The Angry Birds 2. But Cherry’s love letter to Black hair and Black families is finally available online for all our girls to see in the comfort of their own homes!
Take a look, and yes you will cry:
The project was a collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation and is also a New York Times bestselling children’s book. It also made Kickstart history for raising nearly $300,000 to fund the short film in 2017.
Over the summer, Cherry told HelloBeautiful that he was inspired by viral videos of fathers combing their daughter’s hair and wanted to somehow capture on film for himself.
“They were cute videos but I would come to learn later that part of it was that people weren’t used to seeing these images of African-American fathers doing these type of interactions with their kids (especially when the hair would be moving and breaking rubber bands and hitting dad in the eye). The idea of hair having a mind of its own was the linchpin that created this idea,” he explained.
Outside of the importance of showing these familial bonds, this short is also important because it not only allows our girls to see themselves as heroes but also to see their hair celebrated. Given the countless news stories of our babies being punished at school or teased because of how they choose to wear their hair, like Lupita Nyong’o’s book Sulwe, our girls need these types of affirming representation and empowering messages.
So go ahead, and share this film with your little girl. No doubt, she will enjoy it and thank you later!