Sony Pictures Animation has finally shared Matthew Cherry’s Hair Love across its social media channels. This animated film is about a doting fathers relationship with his daughter and her glorious afro hair.
With his wife absent, Stephen must step in and learn how to style (Zuri) his daughter’s black hair for the first time. It sounds like a simple task, but anyone with natural hair knows how frustrating a task it can be. However, Stephen perseveres and shows his daughter that with enough love and patience, anything is possible.
Natural hair is still subject to discrimination and barely represented in the mainstream media, so it’s amazing to see Hair Love challenging those barriers to encourage and promote hair love.
Since we’re all about celebrating natural hair (and all other hair types!), you can understand why we’ve been touched. Below, we’ve shared 5 reasons why this Oscar-winning film is so important.
1. It’s a Unique Story Inspired by Actual Events
Inspired by the relationships his black friends have with their children and viral videos of African-American fathers styling their daughters’ natural hair, director and former NFL player, Matthew A. Cherry decided to create Hair Love to represent a dynamic black family.
2. The Film Shines A Positive Spotlight on Black Fathers
Another reason we love this film? Because it offers a much-needed portrait of a loving black father, who is present and willing to do anything for his child – a narrative that is rarely shown in mainstream media.
We love the fact Stephen is willing and ready to work through as many hair products, styling tools and hair bands to help Zuri achieve the dream hairstyle she’s watched on YouTube.
3. It Promotes Natural Hair Love
Hair really is everything and when you don’t embrace it or take care of it, it can really strip you of your confidence. This film doesn’t just show Zuri boldly rocking her afro, it shows her and her father giving it some serious self-love— and it couldn’t be more timely.
For the first time in history, Miss Universe is a woman with natural hair. And, bills are being constantly being introduced to ban discrimination against non-white hairstyles. Amazing, right?
Black hair deserves to be loved and it is great to see an animation film encouraging that. If young black girls saw more short films like this, they wouldn’t feel like their hair isn’t good enough. So, here’s hoping we continue to see more!
Dads can do hair, too! If you need further proof, just look up the #dadsdohairtoo hashtag and you’ll find images and videos of fathers styling their daughters’ hair into various styles.
The ritual of doing hair isn’t just something that mothers should do, which is what makes Hair Love so special. It normalises the ritual of a father doing his daughter’s hair, showing and humanising a tender moment that is often underrepresented.
5. The Short Film Shows Why Representation Is Important
Sony knows representation is important and Hair Love does a great job of giving an authentic voice to the black experience. This is such a poignant moment for young fathers and women of colour, as the film is actively challenging stereotypes of absent black fathers while promoting hair love.
So, we’ve got to give a big round of applause to the team for using hair and love to creatively tackle strong topics. Who knows? This might just start a new trend in animation…