Nappily Ever After: Finding Yourself Amid Societal Confinements

So, let’s just 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 title of the film and this article, then you should know that this movie is focused on hair. Specifically, African American hair. And if you really 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 the likes of her mother, 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 extremely early to primp and mull over her appearance to avoiding wet situations, Violet has settled in an unnatural and un-maintainable lifestyle.

In typical, Lifetime Movie “esque” fashion, her world comes tumbling down as she is given the reality check of a lifetime when her longterm boyfriend presents that he has grown bored with her perfection. Naturally, a person that has spent most of their life confirming to images of beauty that are often mainstream and westernized standards, they would want to change everything and go for a more daring path in life to end their current conundrum. 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 own beauty was rewarding and refreshing to see. Over the past few years, the natural hair and just 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 that believe in your overall life visions and your development. I am a firm believer in 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. And even though, Nappily Ever After had a quirky delivery, but in all, it represented the quirkiness of life when you are in search of your self and who you ultimately present to the world. Catch it on Netflix while it’s available!

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