Trending Topic: Black Hair
Rightfully, more attention is being paid to the scant, and oftentimes unrealistic, images of African American women in pop culture.
But it appears we may also want to make room in our studies for another under-served minority.
It may sound crazy, but honestly, our hair is a major meme. We’ve got folks wondering how we get it to look the way it does via documentaries including “My Nappy Roots” (2010) and “Good Hair.” (2009)
We’ve got people getting in line to touch it.
It’s practically an experiment to emulate it.
And if it’s not being perused, petted or parodied, it is getting folks fired.
Even worse than the non-Black obsession with it is the friendly fire that takes place. Poor Gabby Douglas couldn’t even focus on being the best in her sport. A bunch of Twitter busybodies decided to spend their time calling out and correcting her so-called sloppy hairstyles on the mat. It’s an issue she even addressed in a cover story with us at JET. The poor child was absolutely shocked it was an issue. I have to say I’m thankful this young lady was raised right, and didn’t respond with a volley of remarks suggesting some of these hair experts drop to the floor and start doing some sit-ups so the could get their bodies as fit as their follicles.
It doesn’t even seem to matter if the hair is on a Black child who clearly hasn’t much control over her appearance. School officials devastated cute, smart little Tiana Parker in a case that raised the ire of the Interwebs, but luckily reinforced her love of the locs she chose to wear. Yet those same Interwebs regularly brutally drag the mamas of Zahara (Angelina Jolie) and Blue Ivy (Beyonce) for not putting in the time and effort expected to keep their daughters’ celebri-hair looking neat, natty and church presentable for the paparazzi.
Sad, really. And I’m glad Blue isn’t old enough to recognize she’s being, as they say, read for filth.
The bottom line is this: Whether it’s outsiders looking in or insiders looking down, we really have many other priorities we need to be focused on other than the hair that sprouts naturally (or unnaturally) from our heads.
I dunno, but off hand I can think of issues like fair housing rights, defeating stand-your-ground laws, fixing inequities in income, higher learning and job opportunities. Spending our time fixated on follicles seems excessive these days.
For those who are just intrigued by our hair, I say, man…stop. It’s getting a little old. You’ve seen it before, so move politely along. Get your mitts, and minds, off our scalps. As for our community’s critical coiff guards, I don’t know about you, but personally, I’d rather see a mother spend her time reading to her child, working on their math skills or encouraging them to learn to code than being a zealot for perfect plaits.
How do you feel about this trending topic? I’d love to know.