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Good Hair

Essay Topic:

There are three major beliefs that hinder Alice Andrews’s life progression; however one belief hinders it the most in the novel and this is shown in three ways. Alice is young, Black, bourgeois, and in search of everything, as her life unfolds her beliefs and past are challenged. First, Alice maintains the belief that it is important to look the part and not be labeled as low class or impoverished.

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This is relevant because she becomes a prisoner in a world of pretense.

Second, Alice believes she should she should hid the truth about where she comes from and lives her life deeply ashamed of her blue collar New Jersey roots. This is relevant because it causes her to lose herself identity. Third, Alice struggles to fit in the upper echelon class she surrounded herself by and Alice Andrews’s belief that it is necessary to look the part and not be labeled as low class hinders her life progression because she becomes a prisoner in a world of pretense.

Based on what she believes about social status, it appears that “good hair” is a standard of beauty and status amongst the upper echelons of the African American social order in Manhattan. There was pressure from society to promote this standard of beauty in the novel. More specifically, social status and beauty standards are doubtless dependent to a certain extent on physical appearance. As Alice struggled to look the part in order to be accepted, it became clear that the standards of beauty had a significant burden on her notion.

In society, African Americans continue to struggle with the concept of good hair. I believe that the lack of proper cultural images and the negative social scripts caused by mainstream media play a significant role in the perception of beauty. Another reason why Alice Andrews’ struggle to maintain an image caused her life progression to be hindered is because she became a prisoner in a world of pretense. Since her entire foundation was built on the claim that

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