'I Love My Hair' Video Inspired By Father's Love of Daughter

PHOTO This anthem about hair, from Sesame Street, has gone viral with more than a quarter million hits on YouTube.
Share
Copy

"Sesame Street" has always been about learning. But one particular muppet is getting tremendous praise for her latest lesson; teaching young, black girls that their hair is beautiful just the way it is.

The viral video of a brown Muppet, meant to represent an African-American girl, singing, "I really, really, really love my hair" has been visited by a quarter of a million people on YouTube. The video, which has made many people smile, was inspired by one father's love for his daughter.

VIDEO: New Sesame Street Character Teaches Real Kids to be Proud of Their Hair.
'I Love My Hair' Video Teaches Self-Acceptance

Joey Mazzarino, the head writer at "Sesame Street," who is also a puppeteer, adopted a little girl from Ethiopia named Segi.

Sesame Street Writer Inspired By Daughter

"She's like my little muse," Mazzarino said.

As Mazzarino and his wife watched their daughter grow, he noticed a change when she started playing with Barbies. Segi started saying negative things about herself and her own hair.

"She was going through this phase where she really wanted like the long, blonde hair. ... She would look at Barbies and really want the hair."

VIDEO: Chris Rocks film about black womens hair
null

Segi is not alone. ABC news talked to several young, African American girls, who told us their feelings about their hair. Eleven-year-old Monique told ABC News, "I think I want to straighten my hair because it's curly and it's puffy."

The feelings held by Monique and Mazzarino's daughter are nothing new in the black community.

African-American Women and Beauty

Comedian Chris Rock said he was prompted to make his documentary about the $9 billion black hair business "Good Hair" when his five-year-old daughter asked him, "'Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?"

VIDEO: Chris Rock explores the joy and frustration of black hair care in "Good Hair."
null

The idea of "good hair" and the feeling that one must have straight hair can be seen in vintage ads for black beauty products. The products tell young black women to straighten their hair. One product, Hair Strate perm, tells black women that the product will keep their hair so straight, they can "swim, shower, shampoo ... hair can't revert!"

The 1960s "Black is beautiful" movement brought the Afro into fashion, but it was never able to completely drown out the historical and perhaps subliminal message for young black girls that their hairdo was a don't.

Take Whoopi Goldberg for instance. Her early days of standup included her portrayal of a little black girl who wore a towel on her head.

VIDEO: Sesame Street Developer Dies
'Sesame Street's' Gerald Lesser Dies at 84

"This is my long, luxurious blonde hair," Goldberg said.

Mazzarino: 'I Just Want Kids To Know Their Hair Is Beautiful'

Mazzarino decided to help his daughter and other young girls appreciate their beauty.

"I just want kids to know their hair is beautiful," Mazzarino said. "I just hope little kids, little girls see this and really feel positive and great about themselves."

Mazzarino wrote the song and with the help of the "Sesame Street" designed the little girl Muppet dancing around, wearing different hairstyles like braids and cornrows, singing, "Don't need a trip to the beauty shop because I love what I've got on top. ... I want to make the world aware I love my hair.

 Video: Raven Symone talks about her appearance in Good Hair.
null

Viral Sesame Street Video Resonates With African American Women

The video hasn't struck a chord only with little girls, but grown African-American women as well.

ABC News found hundreds of responses on the Internet like this: "I wish 'Sesame Street' would've had this segment about 18-19 years ago because my mother and I surely needed to see this message."

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Ebola patients Nina Pham, left, Dr. Craig Spencer, center, and Amber Vinson are seen in undated file photos.
Courtesy Pham Family | LinkedIn | Obtained by ABC
PHOTO: Television personalities Mama June and Honey Boo Boo are seen in this, June 11, 2014, file photo.
Douglas Gorenstein/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
PHOTO: Overall winner for the Wildlife Photography of the Year 2014, The last great picture by Michael Nick Nichols.
Michael Nick Nichols/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014