I’m natural, and I’m a celebrity. Who cares?
The answer is… a lot of people.
We’ve probably all felt it. That sense of pride, validation, or appreciation (or all of the above) we get when we see a well-known celebrity rocking their natural hair. It doesn’t matter where — it can be to the grocery store, on the red carpet, on the cover of a magazine, or even in a music video. How many people L-O-V-E Solange Knowles? Elle Varner? *raises hand* In their own right, these women are artists first, and probably naturalistas second, or third, or fourth… but not first.
But whoever SHE is, don’t let her hair look crazy or fake. That’s an immediate ticket from the natural hair police. We all know what happened this summer when Solange tweeted about her natural hair haters. Were her protests valid? Who am I to say whether they were or not? Should a celebrity with natural hair be touted as a representative of the natural hair community? Is that fair? Does it matter if they are a spokesperson for a natural hair company?
But I digress. This interest (or even obsession for some) with celebrities is neither unique nor exclusive to the natural hair community. We live in a society that is influenced by and fascinated with “the celebrity”. There are entire websites, blogs, and magazines dedicated to the latest gossip surrounding celebrities. Perez Hilton made a name for himself in Hollywood by providing the “celebrity juice, not from concentrate”.
But how can I talk about natural hair and celebrities without discussing the relationships that African American women have with their hair? I can’t. The natural hair police don’t exist solely because of our obsession with celebrities. No, it’s actually much deeper than that. Our relationships with our hair are influenced partly by our family and elders, history, boyfriends, girlfriends, the media, friends and ourselves. But is it our place to judge the way a celebrity rocks her natural hair? Should celebrities with natural hair be viewed as representatives of our community?