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Jill Scott says “I wasn’t trying to be the spokesperson of natural hair”

Avatar • Jun 3, 2011

I’ve loved Jill Scott since I discovered her my freshman year of college… and I felt unjustifiably disappointed when she relaxed several months ago. But it’s totally not fair to expect celebs to subscribe to the individual and static standard of beauty that we feel is appropriate, and Jill Scott said as much in an interview with Afrobella;

Afrobella: …to so many people, they look at your and they brand you as an icon that speaks to their particular experience. So to so many women, you’re considered a natural hair icon, or plus size icon and now you’re in a period in your life where you’re changing. How is that, and how do you feel about being seen that way by women and how do you feel about your hair and your beauty and your evolution that we’re all getting to see right now?


Jill Scott: Well I think that change is good, and its necessary. Typically when I go through something, I’ll always cut my hair off. And I’ll wear wigs, and I’ll wear weaves and I’ll wear pieces because I like fashion. I like style and its fun to me. I’m very much a girl and I don’t know. I wont say worried…I’m interested to see how people look at me as someone who’s lost 60 [lbs] and working on 20 more. I’m interested to see if they’ll still feel connected to me or not. I don’t know. I wasn’t trying to be the spokesperson of natural hair. I just like my hair. I like how it feels, I like how I look. I enjoy my culture and my heritage. I see my mother and my father in my hair and I enjoy that. But at the same time I’ve been natural for 20 years and it was time to change. And when I get bored of this, I’ll cut my hair off again.

Click here for the full interview. What are your thoughts ladies? Do we put too much stock into what natural celebs choose to do with their hair?

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Kurly Kels
Guest

And when I get bored of this, I’ll cut my hair off again.”

Well, I just hope she gets bored again soon 😛

df
Guest
df

Yes at the end of the day relaxed, natural (and my baldies), remember always… DO YOU!

Cristine
Guest

I think we do, we forget that celebrities are PEOPLE too, and they have to make personal decisions based on their lifestyle, what they want, and how they feel. They are NOT obligated to maintain any part of their image or personal life for their fans/supporters.

sarah
Guest

i don’t see a problem with having hair idols… just be prepared to be disappointed when they change their hair. or be more specific. my hair idol was never really Traci Ellis Ross. it was her character Joan Clayton. my friend’s hair idol isn’t Jennifer Aniston; it’s Rachel from Friends.

CHERIE
Guest
CHERIE

LOVE IT AND LOVE THE RESPONSES. I THINK WE ARE THE ONLY RACE THAT OUR HAIR SO MUCH SERIOUSLY THAN IT IS. ITS ONLY HAIR. WHY IS IT THAT ALL RACES CAN DYE, CUT, STRAIGHTEN, PERM AND NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM. BUT WE ON THE OTHER HAND HAS TO JUDGE, POINT FINGER AND ACCUSE ONE ANOTHER OF SELF HATE FOR NOT WEARING THE HAIR A CERTAIN WAY. I HAVE BEEN NATURAL ALL MY LIFE AND I GET BORED AND ROCK WEAVES ALL THE TIME OR WIGS IF I WANT IT STRAIGHT OR COLOR. I LOVE EVERYONES COMMENTS SO FAR… Read more »

Red
Guest
Red

My hair is not only hair. It’s really important to me and it goes with my self-image. And we’re certainly not the only race that cares about hair heavily. Um, white people in the eighties anyone? All sorts of people dye their hair, curl their hair, straighten their hair, etc. My bf tried to pull that, “It’s only hair.” thing on me. For HIM, it’s probably only hair, because when his hair grows more than three quarters of an inch, it’s time for a trim. But when I joked, well maybe I should shave all my hair off, he was… Read more »

kliyah
Guest
kliyah

I agree with what you’re saying to an extent but to some it just hair, I love my hair it’s gorgeous. But if I want to relax my hair, cut it or colour it it’s just for fashion, if I shaved my head tomorrow I would still be me i would still have the same personality, hair is keratin nothing more.

freeyourheart
Guest

completely co-sign with this.

CreoleAphrodite
Guest
CreoleAphrodite

Im glad she finally spoke up, i think it is unfair and ultimately selfish of people expecting someone to stay exactly the same just so WE can feel comfortable. Just like Monique decided to lose weight, I recall large sized women down talking her and berating her because she made a lifestyle change..I LOVE Jill, and I LOVE her natural hair..now thats its gone her amazing spirit and talent still remains. A perm on her head will never change that…

Eboni
Guest
Eboni

+1 and well said

sosoulful0125
Guest
sosoulful0125

Jill Scott is one of the most beautiful women in the business. Yeah it may appeared that she was a natural icon but we as “TRUE” fans should respect her decision. I mean does her voice sound any different, did she loose that beautiful spirit she has because she relaxed her hair I think not. Sometimes I think we, as people, like to keep celebrities in this bubble on what we think they should look like and its hard for them to break out. I respect her decision, and on loosing weight that is definitely an inspiration for me. just… Read more »

Claudette
Guest
Claudette

I just want to chime in that I previewed her new album on Youtube and it is THE TRUTH. It’s excellent and I am counting down to June 21st when it drops. http://youtu.be/c6BgPh2VIcM

Honestly, I love Jill Scott’s music and the natural hair is just an added bonus. I think she looks great, and I like the relaxed look. At the end of the day, it’s about what works. Do you, and allow others to do their thing.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

OMG that album is hot…

Liberavi
Guest
Liberavi

I personally don’t like the whole ‘natural to relaxed then back to natural’ bit, because I don’t think it’s the healthiest of things to do for your hair. But hair is beautiful. It can be used to stay in fashion, and it can be used to state political and/or religious beliefs. It can be a definition of your personality, or it can help keep your soul hidden from prying eyes. No matter what you do with it, it will be brilliantly beautiful and perfect for you because it belongs to you and you alone. If you want it to express… Read more »

HoneybeeBrown
Guest
HoneybeeBrown

Jill Scott should not bite the hand that feeds. Truth be known, her look: natural hair–size–and beautiful music are what sold records. She is naive if she thinks otherwise. She came during a time when she was refreshingly much more palatable than Erykah Badu and weirdo tip Lauren Hill. I have purchased all of Jill’s CD’s but I lost favor with that tragic I mean tragic interview with Essence Magazine. Really Jill? Really. It just wasn’t a good look –her desrciption of her relationship with her baby’s father—some things really just keep to yourself. These artists make me sick with… Read more »

Kimberly
Guest
Kimberly

Honeybee Brown,

If your belief in love rested on Jill, then you really set yourself up for failure because Jill is human just like the rest of us. You have to remember that what we see out the outside of a relationship between two people doesn’t always reflect what going on the inside. Your belief in love should rest upon your own experiences, and whatever definition you create for yourself.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

Dude did you know them personally or something?

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

I don’t think you’re being mean, HoneybeeBrown. I think you’re being honest. There are some ladies here that I personally believe are giving the PC answer. I think some women are truly disappointed and not stating they are because … what else can you say. The deed has been done. “It’s just hair. She can do what she wants.” I’m sure there are sistas that feel that way but at the risk of going against the grain, I’m a little disappointed. Don’t we have more than enough relaxed, weave wearing sistas in Hollywood? Aren’t we tired of being fodder for… Read more »

Ashley
Guest

It seems much deeper than her response.…I hear she’s been going thru a last in the last few years. I don’t want to judge her nor her situations but just the fact that she permed her hair and not just straightened it (that would have big enough surprise and still a drastic change) says a lot to me about the dept of what she might have been going thru.

Kimberly
Guest
Kimberly

When I first saw a video of Jill performing some songs off her new album, I fell in love with the new hair style she was rocking. No, I was not dissapointed becuase she relaxed her hair. I think Jill is showing us that it’s really just hair. She relaxed her hair because it’s what she wanted to do. She’s not doing it for a man, or her for her record company telling her to fit a certain look. She’s still the same person. Her music is still as wonderful as the first day she stepped on the scene. If… Read more »

binks
Guest
binks

Her hair and her choice, I never got the backlash for her changing her hair, she is still beautiful and talented either way. I think that is a little to much investment in a celebrity life. I think when you look up to someone or admire them to remember to keep it in perspective, that they are humans as well who are allowed to grow and change. If you loved Jill’s natural hair than use it as an inspiration but don’t put the person on a pedestal.

Xandra360
Guest
Xandra360

I call BS. I love Jill but she was known for her preachy rants at her concerts — and weave wearing sistas were on the receiving end of those on several occasions. Anyway like someone else said, I hope this is a phase that passes soon.

Amy
Guest
Amy

Ditto! I too remember her rants on everything from Black women and weaves to interracial dating, but when the focus is her, apparently the message is — back off! I never heard of anyone reacting to her new hair but, oh well, not a big deal to me, it’s probably hardly worth the interviewer or Ms. Scott mentioning. Also, if fans connect her style change to something deeper and dislike it then that’s the business, they’re entitled to spend their money and verbal and written opinions how they please. BTW, Black women are not the only ones who are beauty… Read more »

Dionne
Guest
Dionne

You know, people grow up and evolve. And some things they said in the past may change due to experiences and just coming to an understanding about different view points. So you can look at this the way you did on how she was back in the day or realize that we evolve and our experiences can change somethings about us. Take for example Monique, before she was talking about skinny b**, but now she is on a health kick and has lost a substantial amount of weight. Hair is just hair, the beautiful thing is that in most cases… Read more »

Kimmy
Guest
Kimmy

This post speaks to something that’s been on my mind lately. We as black women are almost obsessed with our hair and the hair of others. This is not just for natural women, but all of us. We spend incredible amounts of time beautifying our hair, researching hair topics and looking at the hair at others. What is really striking is our disproportional focus on the beauty and health of our hair, while the rest of our bodies suffer. This comment is not meant in a mean-spirited sort of way, but as more of a plea to my black sisters.… Read more »

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

I generally agree. However, there are a disproportionate amount of Black women with relaxed hair that won’t engage in physical activity at all because they are afraid of ruining their hair. They can’t swim, won’t learn, they won’t join a gym and stick to it with the same tenacity they use to get money together for the hairdresser and eyebrow arching. If naturals choose, they can swim and sweat in the gym. Also, at the yoga class I attended there were four Black women present and three of them were natural. I do agree that there are more Black women… Read more »

Cacey
Guest
Cacey

and this natural here don’t plan to change her eating habits and exercise habits (or lack thereof on the latter 😉 anytime soon lol that’s why i don’t talk about it, myself. but i def agree with you!

sunshyne84
Guest
sunshyne84

I’m not crazy about her hair, but I didn’t always like it when it was natural either. Her voice still sounds the same though. *shrug*

Eboni
Guest
Eboni

I’ll admit when I first saw her rockin the new short hair I was kinda…shocked I guess. But I mean she STILL looks fierce! and guess what? she can STILL sing!! Isn’t that what we should love her for anyways? This is normal for celebs so deal with it.

What Jill Scott does with her hair has nothing to do with how I style my hair each morning, point blank.

AishaSaidIt
Guest

Excuse me as I call BS. First, she is a talented beautiful lady no matter what her hair is doing. BUT.….she is not immune to Hollywood pressures to appeal to the masses and sell records. Sure some of her may have wanted to straighten her hair and chop of the side i.e. Cassie style (which is cute). But to ignore that all of a sudden she falls in line with more of the mainstream then before is crap-olla. I would have liked it more if she said it’s tuff to sell records nowadays and I had to change my marketing… Read more »

Vicky
Guest
Vicky

I thought she was ok, until she started expounding on her disapproval of IR relationships. She rubbed me the wrong way after that. If she doesn’t want to be the so called spokeswoman of natural hair, that’s fine. Honestly, I don’t care.

Nikkia
Guest
Nikkia

I love her new look and I respect where its coming from. I myself have gone through more hair transformations than I can count based on where I was mentally and emotionally in my life and that includes cutting it short and dyeing it pink. I also acknowledge that going natural was a subconscious decision to remove all the toxins in my life both figuratively and literally. Heartbreak makes you do funny things, not to mention becoming a mother and if losing 60 pounds while rocking a relaxed short-do makes her feel more in control and empowered then I support… Read more »

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

totally agreed! The girl looks fantastic.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

I love me some Jill…I’ll start there. But um…I didn’t always feel like she looked all that hot just because she was natural. She is no more her hair than we are. I’m Googling the I Have a Dream speech now but I thought it said we should be judged by the content of our character. OAN I heard snippets of her soon to be released songs and trust me, the girl aint going mainstream.…Jilly from Philly still got it. She changed her hair, not her soul.

whychangetexture
Guest
whychangetexture

I find it strange that black women have developed some form of ADD when it comes to our hair. Not just flittering back and forth between relaxers but constantly needing to style, comb and manipulate our hair to look different all the time (sometimes this is clearly the reason some of us hardly have any hair). Other groups may dye/cut whatever to their hair but they mostly make changes that don’t involve having to cut EVERYTHING off just to get a new look. She tries to justify with the ‘i’ve been natural 20 yrs thing’ but I feel like being… Read more »

Ronnie
Guest
Ronnie

I totally agree!

Marcia
Guest
Marcia

I hope Jill gets bored again too. 🙂

But seriously, I love Jill Scott, and her music and I always will. I must say however, that she, and another young lady, YaYa Dacosta, (ANTM Cycle 3 runner up), were my two natural hair inspirations. In 2009, I cut my relaxer out, and never looked back.

But like someone mentioned earlier, Jill has got to do JILL no matter what anyone else thinks. That’s the bottom line.

Jill, Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’, GIRL, ’cause you’re doin’ it WELL!.

shannon
Guest
shannon

I just saw her here in Chicago. Looks like the natural hair is back…

Gemlocs
Guest
Gemlocs

I agree with Jill, we all have our own personal journeys and mine and is not yours. I cut my butt-length locs off to my shoulders over the summer and this woman on my job almost had a coronary over MY HAIR! I’m about to cut the rest off this very weekend and I know I will hear about it, but it’s just time for a change FOR ME. I hate natural hair Nazis who look down on women who choose to relax, wear weaves, wigs or whatever they choose to do with their hair. It’s called individuality…embrace it and… Read more »

assistant manager job description
Guest

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Tabatha
Guest
Tabatha

I dislike it whe we put celebs in a particular box cause the moment they decide to switch and jazz something up some fans say they sold out or crucify them for it. They are allowed to do so just like us. I’m not going to dislike or be upset if a celeb changed their appearance, its their actions that I look at not the appearance.

Tabatha
Guest
Tabatha

I meant to put when not whe. Apologies for that not proof reading.

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