Maria G, a CurlyNikki reader, wants to know how your daughter reacted to the video?
I took it to her the day we taped it. This was at the end of last year—we didn't air it until now because our new season didn't begin until the end of September. It wasn't edited at all, so I just showed her the first take we did, and she absolutely loved it! She was dancing around and singing; it was great! Time passed and she sort of forgot about it. Now that it's aired and getting all of this attention, she's been asking for it again.
The other day, she was looking in the mirror and bouncing her hair up and down and smiling. My wife asked her, "Are you looking at your curls?" and she said, "Yeah!" She loves her hair now. I don't think it was just because of the song… I hope it has more to do with our parenting and the excellent African-American teacher she had last year. I'm really happy that she's loving who she is.
Will this new character appear as a regular in future shows?
Initially she was just for that sketch, but I think we will have to resurrect her, give her a name, and have her tackle some other issues.
Maria G asks, 'I've been watching Sesame Street since the early '70s and I have never seen a video such as this one. It brought a tear to my eye. Will the show add more segments on self esteem?'
I think we will. I think we've always done it, but may not have touched on it in a while. After reading some of the comments on the boards and Facebook, I actually remember a character from childhood, Roosevelt Franklin. While I don't remember all of the stuff he said, I can recall some great songs, one was called "The Skin I'm In". I went back and listened to it, and it was wonderful and talked about having brown skin specifically. I think there is definitely room to tackle some more self esteem issues.
Do you see anywhere that websites like CurlyNikki could help be a resource to parents like you—is there anywhere earlier in the process that we can provide information and support?
Luckily on Sesame Street, we have this guy Gordon Price, he's a wonderful member of our crew, and his wife is Lisa Price, the creator of Carol's Daughter. So when we adopted our daughter, I knew it would be different taking care of her curly hair, but he told me not to worry, and that Lisa would hook me up with a bunch of stuff and teach me how to do everything. So luckily I had them as a great resource. With the popularity of the video, I've been getting so many tips and products that I'm like, "Whoa, I only have one!" The wealth of info and help has been great. I'm definitely going to check out your site and others, especially when it's Dad alone and I have to do her hair, so that will help to do it better.
You're good! My dad didn't touch my head... that was all Momma. [Laughter]
[Laughter]Well, my wife, she's an actress and she had to go away for the whole summer. My daughter and I were alone and we were traveling back and forth to Seattle, so I had to take care of her hair on a daily basis. I told myself I wouldn't leave her hair wild; I had to learn how to do it. So my wife and my daughter's babysitter showed me how to do braids and how to comb it out. So yes, I'm getting better and better.