I watched the Oscar red carpet Sunday night. There were so many gorgeous gowns, though none made my jaw drop like Gwyneth Paltrow’s snow white, column gown. The cape resting on her shoulders…the diamond cuff…her sleek, simple ponytail…perfection.
The other look that will stay with me long past Sunday night is Viola Davis’. The only time I have ever agreed with Ryan Seacrest was when she said “Vera Wang did right by me” and he responded “You did right by this dress!” She was radiant and the fashion press almost universally agreed.
So, my gripe? Her hair. No, not her hair. ALL THE COMMENTARY ABOUT HER HAIR. If I’d heard even one more white woman with hair extensions rave about how great it was that Ms. Davis wore “her natural hair” to the Oscars, I was gonna lose my s**t. And then yesterday, The Daily Beast had a poll on its Facebook page asking if people liked that she attended the event wearing her hair naturally. My favorite comment was from, of all people, a middle-aged white man who said “It’s hair. Why are we talking about this?” Thank you, middle-aged white man!
All this attention reminds me of elementary school when white classmates would ask to touch my hair. As if it – and I – were an alien life form. Only these aren’t curious 8 year olds; these are grown ass people going on and on about how “wonderful it is when black women wear their natural hair”. Which is rich, coming from people who are wearing weaves, color and Brazilian blowouts and who have bleached their dark hair or straightened their curly hair to within an inch of its life. We’re not novelty items. We’re women who can do, or not do, with our hair whatever we want, just like anyone else.
Bottom line? Like the man on Facebook said, it’s hair. Get over it already.