This essay considers the presence of Black women’s hair as a necessary fact of embodiment that disrupts postfeminist romantic comedies. It focuses on Something New (2006), notable as the first film in which the director, producer, writer, and star were all Black women, arguing that the ontological ruptures created by Kenya, the main character, disrupt the film’s neat classification into the postfeminist romantic comedy genre. The article argues that the Black female body, through the signifier of Black natural hair, invites a chaos into the narrative that makes the film’s contribution to the genre invisible. This calls for a critique of the social order that the genre treats as essential to its foundation.
A Sleight of Hair: Chaotic Strands of Embodiment in Sanaa Hamri’s Something New
A.E. Stevenson is a PhD candidate in cinema and media studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently writing her dissertation, “Niggas on the Internet: Scenes of a Black Social Life,” where, through an analysis of Vine, TikTok, the Shade Room, and the music videos of Solange, she argues that Black people have fundamentally changed the visual language of the internet. Born and raised in DeSoto, Texas, she received her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago.
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A.E. Stevenson; A Sleight of Hair: Chaotic Strands of Embodiment in Sanaa Hamri’s Something New. Feminist Media Histories 20 October 2020; 6 (4): 13–41. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2020.6.4.13
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