Reader Roundup: Things Get A Little Hairy


Today’s best comments tackled some difficult questions about race and female politicians’ hairdos.

Best Comment Of The Day in response to Why Would Essence Hire A White Fashion Editor?:

This has been on my mind all day. I am a white male. And even I understand that the reason a magazine such as Essence, or Jet, or Ebony still exists today is because there is a need for it. If the world were truly post-racial, the magazines would close up because there would be broad representation across various media that was inclusive of all tastes and cultures and niche points of view.
These magazines came to fruition to start with because the media excluded black people, and especially black women, from the mainstream dialogue. They were excluded from fashion, from politics, from television representation. Things are not as they were in 1960, thankfully. But the media hasn’t even remotely come close to making any sort of attempt at understanding with nuance the experience of black women, and representing that as part of the American experience. That is why Essence (even in its less than exemplary state, as many have mentioned) still merits existence. And that’s why it needs women of color at the helm. When the “mainstream” (white-tailored) fashion magazines start hiring in a color-blind status, Essence can do the same, and when that day comes they will more than likely fold up into obscurity.
A magazine for a particular cultural subset exists because that subset is still excluded on a broad level across all media. America isn’t there yet. Vogue is not aiming at black women, even when it puts a black woman on the cover. That is the difference, and that’s why I think this is a very poor decision. Essence shouldn’t be taking the lead on post-racial blind-hiring. Their purpose is to make up for the lack of such diversity at the “mainstream” white normative fashion magazines. And sadly, they’ve just shot themselves in the foot.

Also: “Oh my god, Geneva, you can’t just ask fashion editors why they’re white!” • Best Comment Of The Day in response to Californians Take A Stand In Favor Of Barbara Boxer’s Hair:

Boxer has a wispy cloud
Of hair highlit, kept aloft,
By an artist. It sweeps down,
Framing frameless lenses perched
On a nose powdered and left
To render curiously
The earring hidden within.
Fiorina sports a crop
With stately lines of darkened
Silver, not graying but left
To yield a widow’s peak, which
Leads the eye to Roman nose,
Arch-ed eyebrows point to ears
Adorned not with mystery
But the beaded wires of fame.
Both stand their ground, the battle fixed,
And who but voters stand betwixt?

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