We might have made a lot of progress in this country, when it comes to hair politics and embracing natural hair, but anyone with naturally curly like myself, will be the first to tell you we still have a hell of long way to go. In fact, until this day, most of us curly haired Latinas still cringe when we hear the words “Pelo Malo” a.k.a bad hair, as they often bring back bad childhood memories. This is why despite how far we might have come, we absolutely need to continue having conversations around ethnic hair.
Sometimes one of the best ways to really understand a particular subject matter or at least get people talking, is by watching a film about it. You’d be surprised how many movies or documentaries you can find on natural/curly hair these days. Here’s a look at a few films that don’t just touch on natural hair but also tackle underlying issues of racism.
This 2014 independent film is set in Venezuela and follows a 9 year old boy named Junior, who has become obsessed with the idea of relaxing his naturally thick, curly hair straight. In the film, the young boy who like a majority of Venezuelans, has a mixed ancestry of African, indigenous and European descent, is convinced that he needs to have his hair straightened for picture day at his school in Caracas. It explores racial themes associated with mixed ancestry and curly hair along with issues of homophobia in Latin American culture. Stream on Amazon.