The spotlight placed on Black women in the media is often a regurgitation of negative stereotypes. As a result, many Black girls grow up feeling inferior to the images they’re exposed to. It’s almost impossible to discuss Black women and their identity without discussing our hair. My late, great-aunt, who I loved dearly, would always say, “A woman’s hair is her glory.” I HATED that.
A pitch for a new film came across our desk recently called ShoeGazer. But the film is about black hair, so the title left us wanting to learn more. ShoeGazer won the official selection for this year’s Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee’s Short Film Creation Lab. The all female team is using Indiegogo to raise $3,000 to finish production. The story follows Sydney, who, in the midst of a quarter-life-crisis, bumps into her perfect-on-paper ex-boyfriend. It's awkward. How could it not be, especially since Sydney still doesn't know what exactly went wrong between them. So she summons her ovaries and finds the courage to ask why it didn't work. The last thing she expected him to say was, "it was your hair."
We asked the film's writer and lead actress Aisha Evelyna to give us her thoughts on why the "black hair" conversation is still relevant.