Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A little Muppet girl has started a sensation. The unnamed puppet with an afro sings a love song to her hair.
Joey Mazzarino, the head writer of Sesame Street, is also a Muppeteer who wrote the song for his daughter. Mazzarino is Italian. He and his wife adopted their 5-year-old daughter, Segi, from Ethiopia when she was a year old.
Mazzarino says he wrote the song after noticing his daughter playing with dolls.
"She wanted to have long blond hair and straight hair, and she wanted to be able to bounce it around," he tells NPR's Melissa Block.
Mazzarino says he began to get worried, but he thought it was only a problem that white parents of African-American children have. Then he realized the problem was much larger.
In writing the song, he wanted to say in song what he says to his daughter: "Your hair is great. You can put it in ponytails. You can put it in cornrows. I wish I had hair like you."
That simple message has caused an outpouring of responses from women. Mazzarino got a call from an African woman who told him the song brought her to tears. "I was amazed, 'cause I sort of wrote this little thing for my daughter, and here this adult woman, it touched her," he says.
Mazzarino says he's happy to report that Segi loves the song — and her hair.