Netflix recently released the long awaited movie Nappily Ever After, and I think it’s something every Black teen and Black woman should watch. The movie follows Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan), a Black woman who explores independence and self-love through her hair. In a European-favored society, she learns to embrace her natural beauty after realizing she is more than her “perfect” life.
Violet is a marketing executive with long straight hair who’s in a long-term relationship with her doctor boyfriend Clint (Ricky Whittle). One day, she goes to the hair salon to prep for a birthday dinner and a hopeful wedding proposal. When a relaxer is put in her hair instead of conditioner, Violet gets weave to look attractive. She is beyond disappointed when Clint gives her a puppy instead of a ring during her birthday dinner. This leads to them breaking up and her trying new things to her hair, which is where she believes her beauty lies. Violet eventually reaches a breaking point and shaves all her hair.
At first, Violet feels uncomfortable about rocking a bald head so she wears a headscarf. Eventually, She starts feeling more comfortable in her skin as she shows up to work with her head held high. Violet starts dating Will (Lyriq Bent), the owner of the hair salon, and befriends his daughter Zoe (Daria Johns); they both help Violet appreciate who she is on the inside and out.
Another unique quality of the movie is that this is not your average rom-com. Violet doesn’t walk away with a man on her arm at the end, and her and the love interest (Will) don’t have the average makeout sesh that makes the fictional pair “official”. At the end, Violet is smiling and walking with her head held high, telling the audience that she does not need a man in order to validate her beauty.
As a 15-year-old, I know you maybe thinking this is not the ideal movie for me to review. However, as a Black teen living in this society, I feel it is important to stress how important it is to embrace who you are and to embrace your natural you.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch the trailer then go watch the movie.
By Kayla Holloway, Sophomore, Morgan Park High School
Instagram & Twitter: @_thattallperson