Today, I am more than ecstatic to review Nappily Ever After from the perspective of Violet Jones,(acted by Sanaa Lathan). It was adapted from the book by Trisha Thomas. If you’re new here we’re doing a blog series dubbed (BTS)Bold type Series. It looks at women who dare to challenge the status quo and continue to thrive on challenges. I promise not to spoil for you if you haven’t watched the movie or read the book.
CAVEAT: This is about to get intimate; Grab your drink and let’s start this chit-chat.
1. What does it mean to be Nappily Ever After?
This is an epic story of how the lead character, Violet embraces her natural hair journey. It is a gradual, painful and exciting one. She shrieks at the sight of a raincloud. Her anxiety stems from shrinkage and maybe this explains why she spends her life avoiding anything that will destroy the perfection of her hair. In the film, she describes the natural hair journey like having a second job. Also, she expresses exhaustion at how much time her hair upkeep has cost her.
2. Nappily Ever After; What does it look like as a chapter in our daily lives?
“Nappily Ever After” is a strong reminder of what straightened hair “signals. When Violet struts across a plaza to work, hair flowing in the breeze, she is rewarded with appreciative looks and double-takes from men. Once her straightened hair is gone, nobody looks at her. “Nappily Ever After” attacks this attitude from all sides.”, as Roger Ebert writes.
When you go against the standards set, you are definitely starting this journey. In fact, as she was growing up, Violet’s mother Paulette shoved down expectations of appearances down her throat. Their Mother-daughter relationship bonding involved bonding sessions with Paulette straightening Violet’s hair at the kitchen table.
3. When should you transition to from one Chapter to another in this journey of Nappily Ever After?
There’s no when! You just go for it.
Okay, one spoiler won’t hurt! Violet breaks up with her boyfriend and soon to be husband Clint. This takes her on a journey dubbed with anger, rage, freedom and fear. Each new phase of her life translates into a new hairstyle. It comprises the different “chapters” in the movie: “Straightened,” “Weave,” “Blonde,” Nappy”, “Bald”.She even throws a tantrum at the local saloon when one of my favorite character Zoe calls her out and accidentally relaxes her natural hair. (I wouldn’t call it an accident)
4. What bold move motivated the bald chapter in Nappily Ever After?
Now about that scene when Violet shaves her hair off: she strikes a chord within many of us who are anxious about how our hair looks. She then shaves her entire head. It takes a slow process.” Violet goes through every emotion under the sun as she shaves her head. Then she weeps. She gasps with terror as she watches her hair fall away. And then she bursts out laughing. Sometimes she laughs and cries simultaneously. Now, this is a catharsis so extreme that by the end of it, she is wrung dry. So are we.” as described by Roger Egert.
5. Where’s the connection between a woman’s identity and Nappily Ever After?
Violet is in a drunken stupor when she shaves her hair. (This was one of the scenes that got me in my feelings.)She also takes a while to warm up to the new look as she wears a scarf. As she goes to have some “me-time” in the bathroom, she gets an invitation to attend a cancer support group. I like how Roger Ebert writes on this issue.”Hair, or lack thereof, is fraught with meaning. “.
Also later on in the film, we see Violet’s true identity blooms. She chooses to break away from exacting expectations of her mother Paulette and her whose obsession with appearances. Not only her, but also those at her workplace and even her boyfriend, Clint. This is what has dominates Violet’s perspective of hair.
6. The best scene from Nappily Ever is;
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen! All the juice on Nappily Ever After.
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Photo credit; Sanaa Lathan)