Black women are sick and tired of being singled out at the airport for “random” pat-downs because of our natural hair. So the ACLU of Northern California decided to do something about it. In January, it filed a complaint with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and just this week, the TSA announced that it would re-train its employees on what constitutes an appropriate search, especially when it comes to Black women. Looks like air travel just got a lot easier!
Satire site TheNewsNerd.com released a “scientific” study that found naturalistas have lower self-esteem than their straight-haired sisters. It may have been satire, but it got people talking, and we weren’t exactly laughing. Especially because we have scientific proof that there are plenty of Black women who are rocking their natural hair with loads of self confidence. Work it, ladies!
The 18-year-old star slayed the Oscars red carpet last weekend, rocking a white dress and a head full of locs that were on point. However, while critiquing her look on E! Fashion Police, host Guiliana Rancic commented that she looked like smelled like “patchouli” or “weed.” Zendaya eloquently issued a long statement on why her comment was insensitive. Rancic took note and apologized, which Zendaya graciously accepted.
Social media had a field day last month after a teacher posted a before and after photo on Facebook of one her student’s hair. She said that the little girl came to school “with her hair full of knots, lent and ridiculously tangled,” so she took it upon herself to style the hair. Reports later came out that the mother had asked the teacher to do so, but not before the original photo had caused a huge uproar on social media.
For years, the Fox newscaster’s hair captured the attention of critics, but the controversy came to a head (literally) last year when she was replaced shortly after appearing on camera with a windswept ‘do. Memes began popping up comparing her appearance to Chewbacca from Star Wars. Oliver quickly responded, saying that she was often too busy trying to do her job to worry about her appearance, but to no avail. The network inexplicably replaced her with another reporter.
Back in December, Nene Leakes debuted a new wig on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and it was interesting: what was supposed to be a blonde, choppy bob that somehow lost its way. Even Nene wasn’t a fan of it. “Y’all didn’t like my wig? I didn’t either so we are on the same page #ByeWig,” she tweeted shortly after the show aired.
How? Why? In 2013, Horizon Science Academy attempted to ban students from wearing “afro-puffs and small twisted braids, with or without rubber bands.” Of course, that ban didn’t fly. Parents were outraged, and the academy was quick to yank the provision from its proposed dress code. The school issued an apology to its students—particularly to the 25 percent who are Black.
Last year, Beyonce strutted out rockin’ a new hairdo that didn’t quite catch on among the Beyhive. Bey ditched her signature choppy bangs for something a little shorter. Barely extending beyond her hairline, the blunt bangs were compared to Jim Carrey circa Dumb and Dumber. Needless to say, the hairstyle didn’t last for long.
Last summer, the U.S. military released a new list of authorized hairstyles that appeared to unfairly target Black women. Among the banned ‘dos were afros (according to the military, it wanted to “maintain uniformity within a military population”), dreadlocks and two-strand twists, severely limiting Black female soldiers’ styling options. In December, the military slightly budged, okaying two-strand twists. Woohoo…
How could we ever forget the infamous “Nappy Headed Hoes” comment? In 2007, while talking about the Rutger’s women’s basketball team, then-CBS radio host Don Imus referred to the athletes as “nappy headed hoes.” It wasn’t long before the radio station began feeling the backlash. Sponsors began pulling their advertisements, and various television stations refused to rebroadcast the show. It was only a matter of time before Imus was fired.
Do people hear what they say? Late last year, gossip magazine InTouch Weekly found themselves in some hot water after they ran a photo comparing Solange’s hair to—wait for it—a dog. Yes, a dog. The photo ran as part of a column asking readers to submit photos of their pets who look like celebs. The dog’s owner submitted a photo of his black dog, saying that his pet and Solange “rock the same hairdo.” We know. We couldn’t believe it either.
People are always reaching out to touch our hair, so three young women decided to own the intrigue. In 2013, they took to New York City streets, rocking their natural hair and holding signs that simply read “You can touch my hair.” And passersby were more than happy to do just that. “The media tells me about your hair; the media doesn’t necessarily expose my hair or my kind of hair to you,” Antonia Opiah, one of the campaign’s organizer, told NPR.