|1BlessedNatural: Cartoon Pokes Fun at Natural Hair and Sheds Light on Origin of Negative Hair Attitudes
The Nickelodeon cartoon, Winx Club released a racially offensive version of one of their cartoons that pokes fun at natural hair. The cartoon was then edited, removing the subject of hair and replacing it with another topic. The original video was posted on the All Black Media (for being offensive) and Winx Club YouTube sites. The show is about the adventures of teenage girls who attend a fairy high school. In the 2004 original version (Season 1, Episode 12) called "Miss Magix", one of the white characters named Stella, who has straight blond hair is backstage at a beauty pageant getting her hair and makeup done by her friends when they hear a girl crying outside. When the girls peek into the hallway, they see a Black girl with a big brown Afro, covering her face and crying. Another character is holding a mirror up to her saying "a catastrophe" happened. This cartoon points in the direction of where these racially offensive and negative natural hair attitudes originate.
When the girls ask the Black girl why she is crying, she says she was walking down the hall and her hair just "puffed up." The distraught girl said, "Normally, it's straight." Then, one of the girls, reaches out and touches her Afro causing it to spring in and out like gelatin. Sound effects of it springing back in forth were included, adding to the fact that the girl and her natural hair was the butt of a joke in the cartoon. Stella pokes her head out of the door, gasps, and asks, "What's that?" when she looks at the Black girl's hair. The crying girl with the Afro runs down the hall and encounters some disapproving kids and mean girls who tease her telling her "Nice hair, congratulations," and walks off laughing. After receiving backlash, the cartoon was edited by making the Black girl have a distorted voice. She was supposedly crying because her voice was squeaky from a spell gone wrong, and not her natural hair.
When we think about the origins of these negative thoughts and feelings about Black natural hair, we can find the answers in history. We can also find them all around us. I wonder why the cartoon's creators even thought this was remotely funny to create a whole cartoon that attempts to put down a race's appearance? The answer can be found back in history when racist white scientists attempted to look for ways to justify the idea that Blacks were the most inferior race of people. This is known as scientific racism. It also includes tests done on our hair and texture that were used to say we were inferior. Thank God for the natural hair movement!
Lastly, I'm sad to say that as long as people refuse to accept the God-given differences of others appearances, these attitudes (such as the ones expressed in the cartoon) will never go away. There will always be another incident. All we can do is to love ourselves and let that fact shine through!
Check out the original and edited versions of the "Miss Magix" Winx Club episode below!
What do you think of the cartoon that pokes fun at natural hair?
Further Reading: Scientific racism
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