Our timelines were buzzing with popular hair news this week. Did you catch these highlights?
“Imagine the impact if Black celebrities in a position of power made a decision to show how real hair looks and needs to be cared for.”
Gabrielle Union launched a buzzy new book, and Colour’s co-founder Debra Shigley wrote a response for Madame Noire on the responsibilities of black celebrities when it comes to mainstream America embracing natural hair. How accountable can influencers such as Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union be held for how their images mold and affect how America views natural hair? Can they be asked or be expected to set the bar for how society embraces natural hair textures? These are all questions that Debra poses throughout her article, forcing us to really analyze the idea that maybe the change we want to see in how mainstream America embraces natural hair has to start with the black women that mainstream America has already embraced.
Read more about this topic in Debra’s article here.
Isaiah Washington’s Tweetstorm.
In other weave news, actor Isaiah Washington caused some controversy with his tweets as he “lovingly” let black “queens” know that their weaves may not be worth the hassle of being shamed for them. His tweets were met with a multitude of responses, many offended that his belief system was one based on the ideology that women make decision on their appearance to appease others, particularly men. Can we say patriarchy?
One response was from Vanessa Simmons who stated: "if a woman wears a weave it does not mean she doesn't love herself. It's just our way of expressing ourselves. And I feel like people need to understand that we aren't running from who we are or think that we're another race."
Read more on the issue here.
This Is Us Tackles Black Hair.
This Is Us has made a name for itself as its audience’s weekly “cry in front of the tv appointment.” The show’s hashtag on Twitter is even followed by a tiny tissue box emoji. This week the show covered another topic that is rarely discussed on mainstream TV, black hair. In one heartfelt,10-minute scene in which Beth helps the family’s new foster daughter Deja do her hair and uncovers she has bald patches, the show covers the gamut: stress alopecia, the impact of hair on one’s appearance, and how doing hair is a therapeutic and bonding moment within black families. If you managed to watch this week and don’t quite get why that moment was highly relatable and crucial in adding a layer of transparency when it comes to the politics of black hair, check out Refinery29’s article on how the show nailed it here.