‘I Love My Hair’ Video Important for Kids of All Races

Hoping to make his adopted Ethiopian daughter feel good about her hair, the head writer of Sesame Street wrote a song about a little black girl loving her afro and cornrows.

“I really, really, really love my hair!” a muppet sings in the video. “Wear a clippy or in a bow. Or let it sit in an Afro. My hair looks good in a cornrow! It does so many things, you know, that’s why I let it grow. I love my hair!”

At first, I thought the song was a joke, but then when I read the story behind it, I realized how important its message is. It’s a video that children of all races would benefit from watching. The video helps show black children that they have no need to feel self conscious about their hair. And it exposes kids of other races to differences they may not have thought about before.

The video made me think about what parents choose to expose their kids to. I would guess that most parents who have Caucasian kids would buy them a white doll if they had a choice between a white, Asian, black or Hispanic one. Same goes for books featuring white children. My hope is that when I become a parent (not anytime soon!) I’ll buy my kids books that have characters of various races and dolls that don’t look like your stereotypical Barbie. Kids need to see that not everyone looks like them, and that’s ok. We’re all different and we all belong.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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