Nappily Ever After

Get Out of My Hair: Intersectionality and Internalized Oppression in Nappily Ever After College

Human beings are composed of several characteristics that make them unique, but these features are often considered “labels” in a social sense. Intersectionality explains the process of experiencing life based on several identities that one encompasses. For example, an elderly black woman may experience ageist, sexist and racist reactions from others either simply because she is a woman, or because she is black, or because she is elderly. Intersectionality takes it a step further and combines the three, assigning a hybrid of sexism, racism and ageism upon the woman simultaneously. An individual can receive both positive and negative responses due to their intersectionality, ranging from discrimination or prejudice to benefits and higher social standing. Sometimes intersectionality results in internalized oppression, or believing the negative stereotypes a particular group. The 2018 film Nappily Ever After provides several examples of the intersectionality of isms, specifically classism, sexism, and lookism revolving around its characters of color, as well as the negative product of intersectionality and internalized oppression on their lives.

Violet’s hair in the film was a tangible representation of her oppression through...

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