By LJ Knight of YeahSheSaidIt.com
I normally don’t pay any attention to the ramblings of professional celebrity scoffer Wendy Williams. After all, she is known for being obnoxious, opinionated and downright bullish in her views. Well, Wendy Williams recently gave off a lot of sista hate when she made the following comment towards actress Viola Davis and her natural Oscar hair-do. She said ‑and I am paraphrasing slightly- “No one wants to see a Room 222 look on the red carpet”. Now for those who are unfamiliar with the reference to “Room 222”, it was a TV show from the ’60s and ’70s about a Black man with a short afro who taught a history class. Now, one could deduce a lot of things from that statement. Personally, I thought that Williams was implying that Viola Davis looked like a man due to the fact that she was not decked out by the weave gods and chose a simple, but natural look for her red carpet appearance, unlike her peers.
This comment perturbed me for two reasons. One, Williams is a Black woman in an industry that a) does not generally think women of color are attractive, b) places physical limitations and high sometimes unattainable standards of beauty on all women, and c) wants all women to be fully equipped with a cookie cutter figure, face, hair etc.. Individualism is rarely celebrated. Wendy is not a fool and she is fully aware of the stereotypes that all women, especially women of color face in the entertainment industry. Second, Wendy is a Black woman who has been mocked for years for being man-like in her stature, bone structure, face, and so on. So much so that she seems to only be comfortable underneath a head full of weave and face full of make-up. She has a lot of nerve comparing another woman to a man. Really Wendy? That is a bold move coming from you.
Considering those two things, one would think that she would have empathy towards other women of color in her industry and maybe go easier on a woman who was fearless enough to go without any artificial flavoring to an event where the primary focus is everyone’s appearance. But oh no! Wendy Williams- you disappoint me. This could have been your opportunity to congratulate a Black woman on setting an example of being fearless in her natural hair while so many others are simply not that brave. Instead you chose to use this as an opportunity to criticize Viola for being another nappy headed Black woman and stoop to the same level as mainstream media.
While I am on the subject of Black women that other Black women love to hate, I want to take a moment to discuss Nicki minaj’s single “Stupid Hoe” that was released a few months ago and allegedly directed towards fellow rapper Lil Kim. Have we really stooped to such a condescending level ladies? Have we gone so far into the gutters that we will resort to calling another Black woman nappy headed in order to break her or crush her spirit? Or for a number one single on the charts? Are we really that desperate to be in the proverbial “master’s house” or the “big house” that we will willingly taunt another Black woman over the same thing that we ourselves are sensitive over in public? You should already know what I’m talking about ladies. Our hair.
This is not a mystery. At least, it shouldn’t be one to you. Black women have and always will be sensitive over our hair. We are connected to it. It is a part of our culture and we take pride in caring for our mane at whatever the cost. Whether it be short, long, natural, permed, curly, braided, or low faded, we adore our hair. So when someone mocks our hair, and mocks our hair’s natural texture, it stings.
It is 2012. There really is no reason why a Black woman should refer to another Black woman as being nappy headed — unless, of course, it’s being stated as a compliment. We have absolutely way too many attacks on us from “others”. People who don’t understand our struggles, nor care to. If you do have to go there with another Black woman then you damn sure better not sing it from the mountain tops for the mainstream media to hear, digest, and deem as being an acceptable reference for Black women. I mean, where is the common respect for other Black women? Does it exist?
Ladies, what are your thoughts? Do you think people are emboldened to use the term “nappy headed” as an insult if they hear a famous black woman say it?
Deemed “the voice of the urban sophisticate woman”, LJ Knight’s style of unabashed, in your face tough love resonates with the everywoman like few else can because she doesn’t talk down from a holier than thou soapbox–she’s lived through the very same experiences her exponentially growing audience has. You can find more of LJ Knight’s in your face opinions at YeahSheSaidIt.com.