Fantastic important graphic novel

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Frizzy follows Marlene, a middle schooler of Dominican heritage who has curly hair from the Black side of her family. Every week, her mother hauls her to the salon to have her hair straightened so that she can have "good hair" and "look presentable". She loathes the salon visits and feels that she can't look like herself. Marlene is tormented by her family over her hair and compared to relatives who have "good", straight hair. The kids at school bully her about her frizzy hair. With the help of her friend Camilla and her Tia Ruby, Marlene learns to care for her hair and to tell her mother how much she hates the salon and being made to feel ugly and unacceptable. The reason for the value Marlene's family places on straight hair is explained by Tia Ruby as the internalization of society's anti-Blackness. It is so important that we all understand from an early age how racism has affected beauty standards. I loved reading about Marlene's brave journey to self-acceptance and self-advocacy, Tia Ruby's wisdom, and their big, complicated family. The illustrations convey Marlene's struggle so perfectly. Frizzy is about hair, but so much more than hair. It's a fantastic book.