I've been wanting to see Good Hair and I finally got the chance this weekend on my in-law's ridiculously huge HD TV. What I saw of it was pretty interesting and humorous, but I spent quite a bit of it discussing different things about hair with my sister-in-law and one of my husband's good girlfriends. But as I reflected on what I saw and what was discussed, I more firmly believe that this desire for "good hair" is the result of mostly pressure from within the African American community, and mostly from women. I really don't believe the majority of men care. As long as it isn't linty and matted to your head. And when I take Emberly out with her afro or puff ponies, the indignant comments and glares come from older black women (you see, a black child's hair isn't "combed" unless it's in braided pigtails, or pressed straight).
I had my hair relaxed in the sixth grade and loved the ability to do my own hair, well. Pre-relaxer, I would only rake over the top layer of my hair with the comb, because, let's face it, combing out curly tangles almost always hurts. 10yr olds aren't easily convinced that beauty is pain. But I got tired of my scalp being burned up with chemicals and grew out my relaxer when I was 22-23. I don't have particularly coarse (or curly for that matter, once it has some length) hair and it's easy to press out for straight styles, so it wasn't quite the leap that it would be for a woman with a coarser texture or tighter curl. Emberly has incredibly tight curls, but I hope I can keep her from ever getting a relaxer. I take every opportunity to encourage her to embrace her thick head full of sandy corkscrews. But I know that we all want the opposite of what we have, so I'm sure there will be some struggles.
Emberly's hair curled up like she had a perm by 4mo, but Bauer's hair is just big soft curls like my brother had. My mom will tell you it a shame that boys always get the hair that's easier to care for (not "good" hair) since it's usually kept short (though my little brother's hair was actually longer than mine when he passed; he kept it braided).