I originally posted this yesterday on AOL Black Voices. From time to time, I’m gonna be cross posting. Feel free to comment here, there, or wherever you’d like!
When I first saw the photos of Malia Obama in London rocking her fly twists and her little peace sign tee, I didn’t think twice about it. What was there to think about?
I thought she looked gorgeous, and I can see even now what an absolute stunner she’s going to be when she grows up.
“And she’s wearing her hair in TWISTS! LOVE it!” I thought.
The news stories I read about little Malia weren’t so cerebral or celebratory. In fact, they were downright disgusting, and speak volumes about the deep divide that’s developed within the Republican party. I’m not going to get into the details, Jeff Douglas already did that well enough on Black Spin, and the less fuel on the racist fire, the better.
But I can’t help but wonder — is this really all about the teeshirt? Or is it also about her hair?
The DailyKos seems to think so, and so do I.
When can a kid just be a kid?
Sadly, I think if your father is president, the answer is probably never.
Chelsea Clinton got it, the Bush twins got theirs, and even though the Obama girls are the youngest kids to live in the White House since the days of John F. Kennedy and Camelot they’re unfortunately not exempt. Their age won’t protect them, not in these days of the internet when trolls can hide behind their keyboards and send anonymous attacks inspired by the color of their skin, the clothes they decide to don, and the style in which they choose to wear their hair.
I cannot stand this kind of racist vitriol being spit towards an eleven year old girl because of her expression of personal style. It’s shameful and embarrassing. And speaking for the Republican friends that I have (I do have a few) — it isn’t truly representative of what their party stands for.
I love that the Obamas have encouraged their children to wear natural hairstyles like twists and cornrows. I love that natural black hairstyles are coming to the forefront. I just wish that people could have an open mind for things they don’t understand. I wish people — regardless of political affiliation — could be fine with just watching these little girls grow into the intelligent young women they’re destined to be, without resorting to the worst kinds of stereotypes, slurs and negative assumptions. How Malia or Sasha dress or wear their hair has absolutely nothing to do with their father’s policies at the end of the day.
But enough about what I think. What do you all think?