Real Life Issues

Naturally Offended

Without knowing the first thing about Zendaya – besides the fact that she was suppose to play Aaliyah in the horrid made for Lifetime movie – I was offended.

Mind you, I did not watch any of the Academy Awards Red Carpet (I also don’t watch Fashion Police) but like every normal blogging human being I scoped out Twitter to capture some recaps of the event. I wasn’t about the fashion of every single person there, just the ones my friends had tweeted about. In the hustle and bustle of my twitter feed, I saw the commotion. That’s when I stumbled across all the buzz regarding Giuliana Rancic’s comments regarding Zendaya’s faux locs. 

The comment was in the following context:

“I love Zendaya’s style, and I love when she has the little hair — she just had it,” Rancic said, critiquing an image of Coleman. “I think this — she’s such, she’s just such a tiny frame that this hair to me overwhelms her. Like I feel like she, she smells like patchouli oil. Or weed. Yeah, maybe weed?” via Defamer

Let me take a step back and breathe. Regroup. Put things into perspective.

I had to go and look up the previous hairstyle that Zendaya was rocking prior to the Academy Awards – it was real cute. I love a woman who rocks a pixie, but I can respect her decision to change it up. To make light of the situation, one of the beauties about hair is that we have so many different ways we can change it. Trust me, I’ve left work on a Friday with a short afro and showed up on a Monday with box braids down my back. For that, Zendaya, game recognize game girl. 

As an African-American woman with natural hair, I am constantly on the receiving end of stares, comments, and unwanted interactions with curls. Countless times I’ve been accosted by women who are foreign to this fluffy mane atop my head – sometimes without any warning that they are going to touch it. You would think I’ve committed a hair crime with the interrogation I’ve been under as to why I wear my hair in its natural state, because straight hair is more polished and beautiful. Giuliana’s comment struck a nerve because of insensitive and absence of comprehension of the “joke” she was attempting to make.

Stereotypes and cliches are real and continue to exist because we allow them to. Profiling is a constant battle for those who are continually having to deal with the setbacks of individuals not recognizing their worth. Comments such as Giuliana’s allow others to justify that its ok to make those types of jokes with no ill intent.

Zendaya’s response to Rancic’s offensive comments was eloquently written, you can read it here.

After reading it, I patiently awaited for Giuliana’s real apology. Not the watered down tweet to do damage control before realizing the severity of her comments.

When it arrived, it ARRIVED.

“I didn’t intend to hurt anybody, but I’ve learned it is not my intent that matters. It’s the result. And the result is that people are offended, including Zendaya, and that is not okay,” Rancic said. via E! Online

I applaud and appreciate Giuliana Rancic for making the appropriate apology. It’s the result. Her apology is a great stage to start the dialogue on this important issue and so many more. I invite you to feel free to ask questions regarding any and every aspect of my life you are curious about. It’s welcomed and I love to engage with any and everybody about my hair journey, culture, interracial relationship, and so much more.

Use this lesson as a beginning to branch out!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Valery

    1. You didn’t watch Shake it Up?! I mean, I didn’t watch it after Hannah Montana either…
    2. I really appreciate your perspective on this, I know how annoying it is when people constantly talk about my hair and I know it’s a million times worse for women of color who sport natural hair.
    3. Glad we can both agree that Rancic did the best thing she could do after ROYALLY screwing up.
    <3

    February 25, 2015 at 10:05 am
  • Reply Whitney

    GIRL!

    When I saw what Guliana said I was HEATED. I like Zendaya. I like that my daughter can look up to such a well spoken, lovely, obviously intelligent young lady.

    As someone who rocks my natural curls too, I was just beyond incensed she would make a comment like that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my hair touched out of no where for someone to exclaim ‘OMG its SO soft!’ or….’OMG its not like greasy?!?’ or when I decide to straighten it ‘Ooooh did you get yo weave done sistah?’ (that statement came from a white lady…)

    I say all that to say I GET IT. Guliana’s apology was on point though. For once it wasn’t someone lamely saying I’m sorry IF I offended, but I’m sorry I said something offensive. Good jog G.

    February 25, 2015 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Christina

    Great post! I was honestly so shocked at what Guiliana said! I think Zendaya’s hair looked amazing! It definitely suits her. I like how you said we all have the freedom to change our hair in many different ways. I was inspired to start wearing my hair naturally after reading several of your posts. I used to flat iron all the time!!! Some curly hair days are better than others but I always try to remain confident!

    February 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm
  • Reply Kakers

    I don’t even know who this little girl is, so naturally my gives where none. As someone who watched the show a few times, I didn’t see it a racial dig. They pretty much talk crazy about everyone and I mean everyone. Not a single person hasn’t been clowned on, on that show. I also saw it as G trying to be witty and cutthroat the way Joan is and failed. I wasn’t a fan of how the girl look because as tiny woman there are something we stay away from. Not saying she shouldn’t have bread but they were way to big for her tiny frame and all you saw was hair.

    As far as the weed part of the comment, I live in California. Who doesn’t smoke it is the real question.

    March 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm
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