The beloved and educational television show, “Sesame Street,” recently aired a video of a brown muppet “rocking” an Afro, singing about loving her hair.
Some of the lyrics sung by 9-year old Chantylla “Chauncey” Johnson include: “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? That’s right, my hair! I really love my hair!”
Positive reviews from women of all ages have made the video viral for broadcasting an encouraging message for the young black girls around the world.
“For black girls like myself, this is an important lesson in embracing our natural hair in spite of what society was historically deemed beautiful,” Dana Oliver, a reporter for Stylist magazine, said.
The energetic muppet, wearing a flowing pink dress with a matching necklace and earrings, displays signature moves and attitudes to mirror the different hair-dos. From a small curly Afro to corn rows to dreadlocks to twists, the muppet bounces back and forth revealing the pride she has in her hair.
“Back when we were growing up, we didn’t have issues with our hair,” Cam Bentley, a fourth-year healthcare management student, said. “But now shows on television now don’t depict black women as having beautiful hair. [The video] gives young African- American girls a boost of confidence and self-esteem.”
Contrary to the good reviews, the video has also received negative comments concerning the bigger picture of the segment. People explain how other nationalities suffer with different textures of hair as well, not only African-American women.
Joey Mazzarino, head writer and puppeteer for Sesame Street, created the sketch in response to his adopted Ethiopian daughter, Segi. According to Mazzarino, the inspiration for the muppet came from his daughter’s obsession with the long, blonde hair on Barbies.
Even though Sesame Street has placed a creative spin on how to reach young black girls, the audience seems to extend far beyond those who have just learned their ABCs. The “I Love My Hair” muppet has caught positive attention of those like Oliver, who want to secure acceptance into society. Willow Smith, 9-year old daughter of Will and Jada Smith, is even in competition with her latest single “Whip My Hair,” against the video.