Good Hair

Apparently comedienne Sheryl Underwood isn’t a fan of natural hair or the Afro, or as she refers to both, as nasty and unwanted hair. On an “encore presentation” of her CBS show, The Talk, that aired on Aug. 30, Sheryl – one of four hosts of “The View” knock-off, The Talk – pissed off many in the African American community by saying that “Afro’s are nappy” and because they can’t be weaved together “you’ll never see us at the hair place going, look here, what I need here is, I need those curly, nappy beads…that’s just seems nasty.”

I see why she's mad.
I see why she’s mad.

This comment came about because Sharon Osborne repeated a statement made by Heidi Klum, saying that she saves her bi-racial children’s hair in a Ziploc bag, to which Sheryl questioned “Why you would you save Afro hair?” At the same time, she began gushing over co-host Sara Gilbert’s children’s hair, when Sara said that she, like a lot of mothers, liked to save her children’s hair, Sheryl said, “But your child’s hair is silky and straight!” Now, I don’t know Sheryl personally, and I don’t know if she was attempting to make a joke that turned out to be offensive to some, or she really believes that Caucasian hair is better, while Afro hair is inferior. What I do know is she looked like a fool stepping and fetching.

It does seems funny and ironic that she of all people would have the nerve to say something derogatory about African American hair. For one, she is African American and for two, I think that someone who specializes in wearing wigs and weaves (or as I like to call them the Pam Oliver from Fox sports special) that any other self-respecting sista would rather be shot in, looses all credibility with me when talking about other people’s hair.

If Sheryl does indeed favor caucasian hair to African American hair, I would rather that she kept one of our “dirty little secrets” among us. While it’s no secret within our community that colorism and hair texture are hot button topics, it is to other ethnicities. We did not need one of our own letting the world know just how divided we are, especially about something so trivial, because between Fox news and black on black crime we’ve already got that covered. If Sheryl wanted to admit her own self-hatred, she should have waited until she was around others that shared her opinion or just said it off the air.

Maybe I’m tripping, maybe I’m expecting too much from Sheryl; after all she is the comic relief on the show and is allowed to think whatever she wants to and has the right to voice her opinion. I can’t knock her for that, and it’s not her fault that some of us favor straight or processed hair to natural hair; this line of thinking has been going on for 300 plus years. If she does have self-hatred, it’s obviously something that she has been taught and seems to think that there is nothing wrong with. What bothers me is, when she was approached about the controversy her comments caused, she missed the boat completely saying those who are upset are “tripping” and refused to acknowledge the issue saying that she found it odd that any parent would save a child’s hair, completely ignoring the real issue.

I guess there is no shame in ignorance, ignorance is bliss, and any other cliché you can think of that relates to purposely revealing in your own stupidity. But it does become a problem when that ignorance is willful, when you have the opportunity to un-learn a prejudice, but instead you choose to save face, being content with being the royal fool.

So what do you think? Am I looking too deeply into Sheryl’s comments? After all, she is a comedienne, always looking for laughs. Or is there something more to her comments and she really does have self-hatred?

Talk to me, I’ll talk back.

Dr. Breazy

4 thoughts on “Good Hair

  1. This is nothing new. Remember the 2012 Summer Olympics when Gabby Douglas won a gold medal, a significant number of Black women criticized Ms. Douglas about her hair being nappy and unkept. I was like, “yo, the chick just did some gymnastics . Do you expect her to have her hair neat?”

    Remember, television is called the “idiot box.” It is unlikely that you will get the next coming of Frances Cress Welsing on daytime television.

  2. I think you took Ms. Underwood’s comments as she subconsciously meant them. When we get comfortable we say what is in our heart. Many black people may not know or practice this, but people DO keep a lock of their children’s hair. Either as a baby or after the first hair cut. when I read Ms. Underwood’s remarks, I was hurt because once again it is on display that we do not like the way God made our hair. That is some deep stuff! Most people don’t agree but if you have not experiences your natural hair in your life, then you are truly missing a great part of yourself.

  3. I’ve never considered her funny. An overweight Black women who carries a purse everywhere, talks about getting and keeping a man, wears wigs, and screams her words for no good reason… No, not Tyler Perry 🙂 I’m just waiting for the hair hat revolution to be televised.

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