The Implications & Ramifications Of Being Black & Blonde


NPR’s Teshima Walker noticed that many of the black women at the Grammys had golden locks. Walker admits that she herself has blond tips, but says:

I know that blond hair is associated with white women and beauty… [But] I think maybe Black stars should help African-American women release the hold that blond hair has had on us. It’s not a natural hair color. It’s not really a good look if you’re over 30. It’s not particularly healthy for your hair.

NPR commenter Kimberly Jones disagrees, arguing:

Why does a woman’s choice to wear blond hair have to mean that she is acquiescing to some idealized beauty standard or that she is trying to fulfill her man’s “Marilyn Monroe” fantasy? I personally believe that we as black women have more hair choices than women of any other ethnicity. We can rock it blond, black, long, short, with locks or braids, kinky, straight, or somewhere in between… and its all good.

But commenter LC believes, as has been said time and time again, that hair sends a message. She notes:

This problem of only having one standard of beauty—which is blond hair, blue eyes, and white skin—has gone on far too long. It’s high time women liberate their own selves and redefine beauty. That is, there are MANY standards of beauty.

I’ll agree with her, and add: What about little black girls who idolize Beyoncé and Rihanna? Won’t they see blond as one of the qualities that leads to those women being beautiful and adored? (Emma Roberts just told Us that going blonde means “Guys check me out more.”) It’s one thing to be an adult, bleaching your hair for fun (or profit — some of the black ladies pictured have been more successful with lighter hair). But it’s another to be a kid trying to learn to love yourself when it feels as though stars don’t consider hair like yours to be “pretty.”

Then again, it could be worse. We could be celebrating Black History Month by getting a dollar off on relaxer.
Emma Roberts Goes Blonde, Says “Guys Check Me Out More” [Us]

Is Blond The New Black? [NPR]
Celebrate Black History Month [Sociological Images]

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