For many Black women, doing a big chop is a decision made with much trepidation and an immense fear (mostly of the hair unknown). But for Summer Walker it’s a semi-regular occurrence. The “Come Thru” singer posted an Instagram story of her newly buzzed hair with the text “11th time,” implying that it’t the 11th time she cut off all her hair.
While we expect people sitting anonymously behind their screens to have opinions about the beauty choices that celebrities make, Black women celebrities nonetheless, the commentary that followed was troubling.
After The Shade Room reposted the story to their page (Walker’s story has since expired from her Instagram) people took jabs at Walker’s cut. One follower asked whether Edward Scissorhands had done her cut. Another responded, “Maybe she should have somebody else do it the 12th time.”
But Walker’s celebrity fans and friends came through, acknowledging that the girl needs love too. They defended the singer’s choice to cut her hair and simply do her.
Maliibu Miitch wrote, “How is a black woman wanting to start her hair journey over negative? How is it really being compared to mental illness, [and] her being depressed [and] goin thru somethin.”
Skai Jackson commented, “Y’all what’s wrong with her shaving her head? Some people just get tired of dealing with [their] natural hair. It’s a lot of work. I see nothing wrong with this. Y’all love to make something negative for no reason. Let her be free.”
Just last week she posted a note condemning The Shade Room for what she called allowing people to cyberbully. She described it as a place where “people’s lower selves thrive,” in reaction to “roommates” roasting Chris Brown’s infant son (there were comments saying the baby looks like Donald Trump, and that the baby looks like a 35 year old man).
Walker has been transparent in the past about her own experiences with social anxiety, which has caused people to make derogatory comments about her mental health. So it isn’t the first time she’s been the target of the internet’s unwarranted rage. But she seemed unbothered this time, minding her own page (and hopefully drinking her water) as followers went back and forth about her newest cut.
We think all Black women should be free to explore different ways to express themselves through their hair, and fully support Walker’s new hair journey. Remember, there are many flowers that still blossom even in the darkness of shade.