'Mixed-ish' Episode 3: Show's take on natural hair moves viewers, many share their own struggles
In this episode, Alicia tries to instill in her children the confidence she has in her own natural hair. She soon realizes that it's a process that her children need to go through on their own.
In the third episode of 'Mixed-ish' - the second spinoff from 'Black-ish', the show came into its own. As Bow and her siblings learn that their hair makes them different from others and take different paths to make their hair look the way they want it. Tracee Ellis Ross as the adult Bow Johnson beautifully narrates how it took her time to accept her natural hair while also talking about the history and culture behind African-American hair through its past.
And viewers loved it. The episode's beautiful handling of the subject moved many viewers and have cemented their appreciation for the show. Some fans even shared their personal struggles growing up in response to the episode. One viewer tweeted, "I feel so seen to the point where I’m crying #mixedish #allhairisgoodhair" with another saying, "This episode was so multi-layered in our roots and "hairitage"!"
In the United States, there is a layered history behind African hair and culture. When the African-American population started joining the workspace, they were discriminated against heavily on the basis of hair. And it was only this year that bills were passed (as Bow narrates) that prohibits companies from discriminating against natural hair - only two states have passed it so far, California and New York.
It's a struggle that still continues although the community has made much progress. One person tweeted, "'All Hair is good hair', I have to say this almost daily in my salon. It bothers my spirit so much when I hear a client compare the texture of hair." Another viewer tweeted, "I love the history lesson and self-love. Being mixed wasn’t easy in the 80s, I just felt weird #mixedish."
Fans also shared their own stories of learning to love their hair, as one stated, "I was moved to tears with this one! I remember begging my mom for a perm at 13 and then at the age of 33, chopping down to my natural! Took 20 years to love my natural hair. But I got it." Another wrote, "All throughout grade school I never wore my hair down unless it was straight #mixedish." A fan wrote directly to Tracee Ellis Ross, saying "My daughter looks forward to getting her hair straightened. She thinks it’s cool. But she has the most beautiful curly hair. The kind people pay good money to get. Mixed-ish did a beautiful job of getting to the roots of “Good Hair” and it’s many layers #mixedish."
It was the message of self-love that viewers most appreciated. One person tweeted, "I used to HATE when ppl said oh you got “good hair”. Like if your hair any kink or coil then it was bad? Come thru with the self-love!" Another spoke of the importance of the episode, saying "This episode of Mixed-ish was so powerful! As a black woman, loving and embracing my natural hair is a unique process."
This episode of 'Mixed-ish' has proven that the show can and will make a meaningful impact on society. It may have its ups and downs, but if the show comes through with episodes like this once in a while, it is sure to be included as an important part of television history. Like another fan said, "it won't solve the world's problems, but it may help people have more empathy for and understand one another a little better."