After the original Glamour magazine incident, yours truly was contacted with a letter of apology, which I chose to hold off on. (They sent the same apology to lots of other righteously pissed off bloggers, and you can read it here at Ask This Black Woman).
I responded politely to the editors, and they wrote back in a friendly and hey, we really like your blog, interested in Afrobella manner. I’ll keep it real with y’all — I’m a professional writer and editor. So honestly, I’ve held longstanding hopes and dreams of someday working with a magazine of Glamour’s caliber. I thought someone like me could be a valuable contributor to their publication. Not sure anymore, in the wake of all this anti-afro business. And especially following the latest fallout. Heavy sigh. OK, here we go, delving back into this hair drama.
Page Six ran a tidbit about the blow-up inside the Glamour offices. Which was followed by a pithy response by Gawker, elaborating that everyone at the magazine hated the now-fired, Glamour editor in question, Ashley Baker. Oh wait, later in the afternoon Gawker ran another bit, explaining that everyone actually loved the now-fired Ashley Baker. OK. Then Gawker’s sister blog Jezebel (which I read almost daily and really enjoy) posts this “lay off, you guys — she really isn’t racist” response. Jezebel, I love you. But you need more people. And reading these Ashley Baker is really a cool chick posts does nothing to diminish the sting of what she actually said — which you can read here.
All of this back-and-forthing does nothing to address the root of the issue. Maybe she’s a really nice, well-meaning gal. But that doesn’t change the fact that what Ashley Baker said was racist, ignorant, and according to so many of you who have commented and e mailed me about this issue, completely wrong. There are proudly natural black women who are well respected doctors, lawyers, bankers, and professors. There are women rocking these quote-unquote political hairstyles on television and (for example, yesterday’s Afrobella of the Month), hosting popular radio programs. We’re here, we’re proudly wearing the hair God gave us, get used to it.
The whole story makes me tired. Tired that the offices of Glamour magazine seem to be like so many other backbiting BS corporate environments. Tired that hair like mine is still an issue to be debated by people who will never understand or identify with me. Tired of the same old outdated standards of beauty that are continually shoved down our collective throats.
What say you, bellas?
** edited on Wednesday October 10 at 8:22 a.m. – Jezebel editor Dodai offers an interesting personal perspective that I think is worth a read.