What was the hottest thing on the web last week and it’s still going strong?
Hold on to your hats dear readers … it’s a little brown, kinky- head Muppet girl singing and dancing, proudly announcing to the world … “I Love My Hair.”
Of all the tributes to hair, this little puppet captured the imagination of young and old alike.
“I Love My Hair” debuted on the Oct. 4 episode of “Sesame Street.” Afterwards it was posted Oct. 12 on the show’s YouTube page, and it simply went viral.
As always, the story behind the story is just as wonderful as what it inspired. In this case, it is the story of a father who wrote “I Love My Hair” for his 5-year-old daughter. Typical story? Yes, but with a twist, Joey Mazzarino and his wife are both White, and they adopted a little girl named Segi from Ethiopia, when she was a baby.
Mazzarino told the ‘The Huffington Post’ that he started noticing his daughter’s hair hang-ups early on. He said, “when she was four, we were going through stuff with her hair where she wanted to have hair that was straight. I tried to say to her, “Your hair’s great. It’s so beautiful, and you can do so many things with it.”
Mazzarino thought that the fact he and his wife were White, may have somehow added to the problem that is until he saw Chris Rocks’ 2009 Documentary “Good Hair.” Then, he learned it was a universal problem with Black women.
Oh, I failed to mention Mazzarino is a Sesame Street puppeteer and head writer for Sesame Street, and by inspiring his daughter to love her hair, he’s inspired countless other little girls and women across the world to do the same. Nothing can top the power of love.
Mazzarino partnered with composer Chris Jackson (Jackson played Simba in “The Lion King”) and Chantylla “Chauncey” Johnson, who sings the song and who also appeared in the Broadway show as Nala.) The threesome created a song that will hopefully be a springboard for bigger and better things for the little Muppet and her great hair. How can they lose with lyrics like; “Don’t need a trip to the beauty shop, ’cause I love what I got on top–it’s curly and it’s brown and it’s right up there. You know what I love? My Hair.”
If you haven’t seen the video, check it out online at ourweekly.com. The last I checked it had close to a million hits, but that’s just on YouTube, it’s also on twitter and a bevy of Facebook pages.
And while you’re at it, check out Will and Jada’s daughter’s new single “Whip my Hair.”
Nine year old Willow Smith, who recently signed with Jay-Z to Roc Nation debuted her single, and it too went viral.
“Don’t matter if it’s long or short, just whip it.” Willow’s rocking video begins in the lunchroom, where every one is wearing white. Enters Willow with a braided style that is clearly distinctive.
Once the music starts, its hair mania and the entire lunchroom is transformed, and eventually the entire school. Her mature voice and dancing style screams ‘superstar.’ You can also find “Whip My Hair” on YouTube.
It’s about time we celebrate our hair. Much props to Chris Rock, but I believe black women are tired of being the ‘butt’ of hair jokes. We’ve done wonders with our hair, now if only we can take back the hair care industry … but that’s another story.
Black hair has been the topic of many a play and book, but rarely is addressed in film or television.
I guess the powers that be thinks it’s too Black. But Mazarin’s video proves there is an audience ready to join in on the celebration of our hair.
Oh, by the way, Mazzarino spoke with NPR Radio saying he’s happy to report that Segi loves the song–and her hair.
Gail can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.