Tatyana Ali felt excluded growing up as a black girl since she had longer hair compared to other young girls — sensing as though she was different and flawed.
“It’s funny, when I was younger, it was something that set me apart, and not necessarily in a good way, from other girls that I knew. Not that I was made fun [of] but it felt like I was made to seem different. It’s interesting, the thing you think is a flaw,” Ali told Vlad TV.
Ali wished Chris Rock would’ve interviewed her for his comedy-documentary “Good Hair.” She wished she could’ve told the opposite side of the story of how having “good hair” in the black community can be damaging as well.
“When Chris Rock did Good Hair, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, he should have interviewed me,’” she continued. “Because I feel like there’s one side of the story, which he told really, really well. But then there’s the other side of the story.”
She added, “it’s boys and girls sometimes. You know you have, like, a group of cousins playing and you separate the children that way, you’re doing as much damage to the child you’re calling out for having ‘good hair’ as you are [the others] — because you’re creating this separation that’s not true.”
Ali grew up wishing she had hair like the rest of her family — instead of standing out for her long locks. She wanted her hair to be twisted out like her mother’s hair.
“I grew up wanting to be able to twist my hair and wear my hair like my mom did and my aunts did. Because I wanted to be like them, I didn’t want to be different. [Just that term ‘good hair’] is crazy,” she said. “Caribbean people do it even worse. They’ll say crazy things like, ‘Oh yeah, she’s so dark but she has good hair.’”