Making a movie is hard. It’s a continual collaborative process that at times calls for compromise and at other times taking a firm stance. For every successful fund raiser there are the unexpected expenses. Trying to tell a story visually with good sound and appropriate transitions that will hopefully connect with your audience is not easy. And once you release it…well your work has only just begun. There is marketing, distribution, and PR. It’s the business side of “show business”.
You know what else I’ve learned about that isn’t easy? Natural hair.
As a producer on Natural Hair the Movie, over the past two years I’ve had the eye-opening experience of witnessing countless interviews with strong, educated, women of color who have shared their journey of going natural. The reasons are as varied as the women themselves. Some did it for health reasons, others due to bad perm experiences, and yet others through encouragement from a loved one. But like making a movie – the decision was just the beginning. Hours of research on curl patterns, textures and natural hair care products (largely thanks to YouTube) along with stepping out of their comfort zones became their new norm. There is a mixture of fear and excitement in doing something new with your hair. Not that I would know. I’ve been bald for the better half of a decade. Do beards count?
However, it’s not all cute curls and twist-outs for everyone. For some the journey has been difficult. Handling words often meant to encourage or hide shock from co-workers, friends and family that do more damage than good. HR policies, cost of maintenance and even finding salons that know how to style natural hair can be a challenge. With all of these obstacles some have chosen to turn back while others have forged ahead.
Freedom. The most encouraging comment I head from women in this film. The discovery of a new found freedom in accepting and loving themselves as they are. And putting themselves out there for the world to recon with. For them freedom makes it all worth while.
Movies and Natural hair. Not easy. But how about this? You keep embracing and loving yourself and we will finish this film because the world needs to see both. I hope to see you at one of our premieres next year and hopefully have a chance to say, “I love your natural hair!”
Producer- Casey G. Smith