Good thing that Malia Obama’s father is President of the United States. Otherwise she may have been subject to the same fate as 7 year-old Tiana Parker in Tulsa, Okla. Tiana was sent home for wearing short dreadlocks against the school’s policy that states: “Hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” This policy was instituted by a majority black administration according to news reports.
Watching the Obama girls grow up in the White House should have been an education to many on natural hair for African Americans. But apparently even black people have developed a problem with their own so called nappy hair. Case in point, CBS’ The Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood recently made a comment regarding Heidi Klum’s practice of saving the cut hair of her biracial children. Underwood stated: “OK, I’m sorry, but why would you save Afro hair? You can’t weave Afro hair. You never see us at the hair place going ‘Look, here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads.’ That just seems nasty.” Update: Underwood later issued an apology.
And who can forget the critics of Gabrielle Douglas’ hair in spite of her Olympic winning performance in 2012? Do black people need a history lesson perhaps? Has there been a reversal since James Brown’s “I’m black and I’m proud”?
Afros, dreads, cornrows (one of Malia's styles)) as well as the seemingly more acceptable weaves and wigs should be a matter of personal taste. But, one cannot help but wonder if there is a black identity crisis in this country. It is all somewhat confusing and infinitely sad.
By the way, I am an African American woman in metro Atlanta wearing a natural hairstyle (twisted) at this writing. One more thing: Black is beautiful whatever the hairdo.