Netflix Series Review: Self Made

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“Self Made” recently released and now a hit show on Netflix, was written and produced by Janine Sherman Barrios. Known for her work in “Criminal Minds,” “Claws,” and “Third Watch,” Barrios is an exceptional film maker who was able to take from her own perspectives and experiences as a Black woman and create such a cinematic masterpiece as “Self Made.”

This series of hour long episodes highlights the life of Madam C.J. Walker, a successful business woman who created the first famous hair care and hair growth product brand for women of color. Thus, came the title “Self-made,” as Madam Madam C.J. Walker was the first woman in America to become a self-made millionaire.

The theme of not only women entrepreneurship, but Black female power and perseverance is truly the most inspiring part.

As the story follows, her beginning days consisted of going around from house to house doing laundry, wringing water out of the seams until her hands went wry. After a long day of work, Walker would come home to a man who abused her. Under all the stress, Walker found herself losing her beautiful and once thick hair, a feature that all women take pride in and find so sacred to their nature.

Walker was met by Addie Munroe, who had a hair growth serum to allow her hair to be revitalized. Eventually, Walker had grown back her once luscious curls. Walker took this opportunity to shine and create her own line of products that help women with the same kinky and curly hair type.

Walker became the first woman of color to own a factory to produce her hair care products. Within her company, she promoted feminine individuality and workmanship. Her top appointed sales men were, infact, also women of color. They were set up to open salons and supply shops around the country.

Madam Walker learned the hard way that beauty is more than the superficial image that one might think it would be. Beauty is perseverance, strength, and soul. Walker pursued an idea that if she grew her hair back, she would be beautiful once again. What Walker failed to realize was that she had always been beautiful. Reviving her hair unlocked a gate in her mind, redefining what beauty meant. Walker wanted other women using her product to have this same experience of redefining beauty in their own terms when discovering the revitalization of their hair.

Walker’s product did not produce beauty, it brought elegance to light.

Walker’s poignant role as a strong, soulfull, and determined businesswoman sets an example for other women pursuing entrepreneurship in a male dominated scene: even when all the tides are set against you, with determination and persistence it is always possible to make it to shore.