In the wake of the empowerment movement, especially as relates to beauty and colour, comes this timely short film, so relatable and heartwarming that it’s garnered an audience of over 11 million. Hair Love is a 7-minute animated film by American film director, writer, and producer, Matthew A. Cherry, which is based around the relationship between an African-American father, his daughter and her hair. The dad-of-one has to get his daughter’s hair ready for a big event in the absence of her mother, but quickly realises there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
According to a statement on the official website, “this story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of colour. It is our hope that this project will inspire.”
The praise for this short film is as much about the story itself, as it is about the way it’s told. Millions of black women all over the world can easily relate to many parts of the story – learning to really take care of your hair (in past times, with admittedly limited information), having a caring, loving father, or even dealing with cancer and hair loss. One commenter on YouTube sums it up perfectly: “There’s so much positivity in this video. A dad trying his best to help his daughter when his wife is away, a black girl loving her hair, and the mother learning that she’s still beautiful even bald from Chemotherapy. Wholesome and good.”