July 5, 2022

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One remaining takeaway from ‘The Slap’: Depart black girls’s hair alone

Generations of black American girls keep in mind weekend afternoons spent watching an iron comb glow like molten lava on the burner of the range. We waited for our moms to wield the new comb like a weapon, able to subdue our thicket of coils to make us extra culturally acceptable. Even at a younger age, I questioned who I used to be alleged to impress.

After I was deemed sufficiently old, I “converted” to chemical straighteners that regularly blistered my scalp – all for a fuzzy bob that I hated. “Magnificence is ache,” my hairdresser chirped as she kneaded the chemical cream into my roots and I winced. In my mid-twenties, I made a decision magnificence wasn’t value it this ache, so I minimize off most of my hair and have since maintained a really quick, pure type.

“When black girls’s hair is the butt of jokes, the very actual and myriad types of a number of marginalization in opposition to black girls are erased and even justified,” Joseph famous. “It hurts.”

Regardless that jokes about us and our hair predate Rock, we don’t want him to prepared the ground in exposing the savagery of the follow, not to mention on Hollywood’s Largest Night time.

Like director Jane Campion’s fake pas just a few weeks in the past at one other awards present (which, sadly, additionally concerned the Williams sisters, one of many themes of Will Smith’s “King Richard” movie), this removing of a black lady stings much more for being unleashed by somebody who ought to know higher – in Rock’s case, as a black father of daughters; in Campion’s, as a lady who seemingly additionally confronted sexist skilled affronts. However the end result was the identical every time: Black girls had been anticipated to smile and take the hit.

In a way, the entire process of the Oscars, and its wave of embarrassment and apology, may have been averted by selecting to not drag a black lady by the hair. But for too lengthy and too lengthy it’s appeared irresistible to remain out, to meddle we.

So, to anybody who feels the necessity to poke enjoyable, I’ll rephrase Will Smith’s warning on the present: preserve the point out of black girls’s hair out of your mouth.