Thanks to all of you who have sent me that Newsweek article by Allison Samuels about Zahara Jolie Pitt and “the politics of uncombed hair.”
Is it weird to quote yourself? Oh well:
“Sometimes when I read posts on gossip blogs about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s children, I’m left feeling lost and alone in the universe.
Am I the only one? The only black woman in the world who doesn’t feel inflamed with rage when I see baby Zahara’s unstyled hair?
When I see this little girl, it makes me flash back to myself at that age. Strong willed, outspoken, and quick to say no when my mom tried to tame my tresses.
Small wonder I got a dose of kiddie hair relaxer at age 7 — I didn’t exactly make myself easy to handle.
When I see Baby Z — and the same goes for her sister, Shiloh — I see two happy, loved, very independent-minded little girls, and an indulgent mother who allows them to express their own style.”
“I disagree with the conclusion of that Newsweek article: “…there will come a day when this beautiful little African girl will understand what it means to be an African American woman in this society and realize unlike her younger sister, hers is not a wash-and-go world.” That sentence revealed more about the author than she may have realized. For some African American women, the expectation isn’t that hair needs to be tamed into submission. For many natural hair bloggers and our readers, this world is whatever we want it to be. I’m comfortable and happy with a wash-and-go style, and I dare you to look at a natural-hair Web site like Le Coil and tell me those women look unkempt or “a hot mess.”
I’d love to hear your opinions on this, seeing as any photograph of this four year old child will invariably be torn to shreds by writers, bloggers, and commenters who apparently are all experts on black hair styling. Is Baby Z under a different kind of scrutiny than other celebrity kids her age? What are your feelings on that? And if you have advice for Brad and Angelina about her hair, what would it be?