There is something uplifting about witnessing father/daughter moments, especially when it comes to doing our hair. Whether epic fails or perfect ponytails, these viral moments tug at our heartstrings and show just how important that bond is.
That’s why we are so here for filmmaker Matthew Cherry’s new Kickstarter project, Hair Love. The former NFLer is looking to create a five-minute Pixar-style animated film to highlight the relationship between a Black father, Stephen and his daughter, Zuri, and the magic that happens when he has to do her hair for the first time.
“People think Black men aren’t in their kids’ lives — so when people do see the videos, they look at these as an anomaly,” Matthew told Refinery29 in a recent interview. “On one hand, I’m happy seeing these videos, but on the other hand, it made me sad because I knew that a reason that these videos were going viral was because people didn’t think that was normal. In the animation world, you don’t see a lot of representation of characters of color. They might fill a background role or sidekick, but you never really see a lot of lead characters of color.”
He added that the film is also a celebration of natural hair and the role it plays in young girls’ lives.
“You want little girls to take pride in their natural hair, not feeling like they have to adhere to European standards of beauty,” he said. “The coolest thing I’ve seen through this project is that people are able to relate to these images. They say, ‘I remember when my dad did my hair and he messed it up,’ or ‘he did a really good job.’ Most importantly, people are saying: ‘Wow, I wish I had a character like this when I was growing up because it would have made me feel differently about my own hair.’ You don’t think about things like that, but when you’re growing up and you don’t see yourself represented — you think you’re different.”
Since launching earlier this week, the campaign has already raised more than $30,000 of his $75,000 goal. He also has a great team behind him, including executive producer Peter Ramsey, who directed Rise of The Guardians and Incredibles 2 animator Frank Abney and has partnered with Healthy Roots Dolls to produce a doll based on Zuri.
Head on over to Kickstarter to watch the video or to support the new venture.