Updated: Jun 15, 2022
Did you know that HBO Max airs short movies? Well, I did not. However, I had time last weekend to check out one of them, and I watched about 3 of them back to back.
The first movie I viewed was titled "Dolapo is Fine." I loved it so much that I watched it twice. The main character Dolapo was a beautiful brown girl attending a predominantly white boarding school. She was interested in entering a career and was selected to work with was implied to be a career counselor, Daisy.
Dolapo's first impression was not impressive at all to Daisy. Their first encounter involved Daisy forcing Dolapo to greet people "Hi, my name is Dolapo, but you can call me Dolly." Then she proceeded to tell Dolapo that she needed to change her afro because she would not get far in life with that hairstyle.
After being verbally pulverized, Dolapo's next move was to look for wigs befitting the corporate world while advising her Caucasian best friend she would now be called "Dolly." Her best friend did not understand her to change, and Dolapo did not expect her friend to understand the Black experience. Her friend mentioned that she has curly hair and no one is making her change her hair. But we all know that Black curly hair is viewed differently from White curly hair.
Enough became enough when Dolapo's wig fell off while giving a speech. She felt uneasy about the whole ordeal, but I believe that moment was her breaking point. The most empowering scene in this movie was Dolapo deciding to toss the wig, sport her afro, and respond, "Hi, my name is Dolapo," when asked what name she would prefer to be called, she proudly replied, "Dolapo is Fine."
I Soooo Resonated with This!!!
Although this movie was under 20 minutes, it was so impactful. It has been such a long generational burden for black women to feel like they need to assimilate and blend into European expectations. The day before an interview, we needed to straighten our hair and change our dialect and mannerism to what was socially acceptable. When hired, we are forced to keep that smile to avoid being pegged as the Angry Black Woman.
I can go on and on about Black Women's Stigma; I did in one of my old Youtube Videos, "The Angry Black Woman (The Angry Black Woman)." However, I loved the movie's message as it was a young black woman realizing to be herself before leaving high school. This movie depicted the freedom the present generation has to be themselves. They allow themselves to be transparent and are never ashamed to rock their natural mane. They stand in confidence in the board rooms, conferences, and social events without a flutter.
Another point I gathered from the movie is how much assimilation is promoted within the Black culture. If our own is telling us to change who we are, then who are we to question it? It is known that Daisy thinkers are a generational thing, and they advertise such constructs to protect us and ensure that black women are successful. But as Dolapo's best friend indicated, "I have curly hair, and no one says anything." So why are we the ones that have to change?
Along with our ancestors, black girls are told wearing their hair down, or colors such as pink at a young age makes us fast. Whereas other cultures allow the same hairstyle and hair color, and it is adorable. Black girls are reared to be quiet and behave, and unfortunately, this ideology sticks with them as she grows older. Later, she finds that as a 40-year-old woman, she is not allowed to show emotion. She is expected by society to be able to experience pain without complaint. These stigmas have caused an influx of anxiety and depression in Black Women.
The pressure release is when we decide to take a Dolapo stance and toss assimilations ideals in the trash. There is no need to be correct because we are everything God intended us to be.
Don't Be Shy? Have you viewed the short film, "Dolapo is fine?" If so what were your thoughts? Also have you experienced stress from societal pressures? Let's talk about it!