Viral video strikes a chord with African-American women

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Indy Lifestyle Online

An anthem about hair has struck a chord with many African American women and girls who have dealt with insecurities about their locks. The video has gone viral on YouTube, garnering more than a quarter million hits.

The "I Love My Hair" episode debuted on October 4 on the popular children's series Sesame Street. A brown Muppet doll with an afro, meant to represent an African-American girl, sings, "I really, really, really love my hair." The song was written by the show's head writer, Joey Mazzarino, who adopted a girl from Ethiopia named Segi.

Mazzarino told American radio broadcaster NPR that as he and his wife watched their daughter grow, he noticed a change when she started playing with Barbies. Segi would start making negative comments about herself. "She wanted to have long blond hair and straight hair, and she wanted to be able to bounce it around," he said.

Segi's feelings are nothing new in the black community. ABC News reported that "good hair" and the feeling that one must have straight hair trace back to vintage ads for black beauty products. The products encourage young black women to straighten their hair instead of leaving it in its natural state.

Mazzarino's simple message to African American girls and women started a huge buzz among the black community. He told ABC News that he got a call from an African woman who told him the song brought her to tears. "I was amazed, 'cause I sort of wrote this little thing for my daughter, and here this adult woman, it touched her."

The TV writer isn't the first to tackle the taboo topic. Comedian Chris Rock made the documentary Good Hair in 2009 after his five-year-old daughter asked him, "'Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" The film discusses the $9 billion black hair business.

Watch the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/sesamestreet?blend=1&ob=4

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