Hair is Political!

What Our Hair Says About Us

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Blondes Have More Fun...I Think?
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Hair is Political!
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Hair is Political!

I can honestly say I never gave any thought to Michele Obama's hair or how it gets that way until we started preparing for today's show, which is about hair.

I mean, I guess I've always thought she looks great, but that's about it.
 
But now that you mention it, I suppose the First Lady's hair is a complicated thing. It probably takes a lot of work in the salon to get it to look that way. It's probably nothing like the way it looks naturally. And it's part of a dance, for her and other black woman.
 
Is she doing it to conform to a Eurocentric standard of beauty, to get ahead in a world where she might be penalized for looking some other way, or just because she likes her hair like that? It might be impossible to, you should pardon the expression, unbraid all those strands, so tightly are they wrapped around one another.
 
We know we're not imagining the politics of Obama hair because when young Malia wore her hair more naturally during a trip in Rome, she was criticized.
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us@wnprcolin.

  

Comments

Beautiful Hair

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder somewhat. I think the attraction with blondes is simply that world wide they are very rare. Asia,Africa America North & South as well as southern Europe produce almost always black or very brown hair. Only Northern Europe produces blondes. But when you imagine a beautiful blonde or any woman her hair always has a "healthy" sheen. An Asian with straight black hair with sheen will turn more heads than a blonde the color and sheen of straw. Straight hair wins over very curly hair because the sheen (protein- health) is more obvious. At our core we're programed to search out healthy mates.
My two cents. (No studies have been searched or sited in this opinion.)

Sexy Hair?

Hair can be a sexual thing, but to categorize everyone with short hair as boring, long hair as uninhibited seems a bit harsh. I assume, Rainman, that you are referring to women here. In case you are wondering, I am a 61 YO woman with thick gray hair long enough to sit on.

EMAIL FROM STEVE:

Your hair program today reminded me of one of my old peeves. I'm sure others have noticed this, but I've never heard anyone mention it. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," just two references are made to Daisy Buchanan's hair, and in both of them it's described as dark (in the first instance, so dark that in the rain it appears blue!). Yet in every Hollywood movie version that I've seen, Daisy is a blonde. Why is that, do you think? Can't they read, or do they have an agenda? Or is it an instance of your theory in action? I suspect there's a lot going on in their decision--Daisy is an airhead, admittedly, but she's also passively powerful (a power alluded to in the many mentions of her voice and its effects on people), and making her a blonde is a shortcut way of expressing both those things, I suppose. Anyway, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this. (Or anyone's thoughts.) Thanks for the program. I almost always enjoy it.

EMAIL FROM RAINMAN:

Not sure if I missed today's show but it should be mentioned that hair is sexual. Hair length can tell you a great deal about what a person is like in bed. Long=uninhibited, short=boring. That's why cops and soldiers have short hair and hippies have long hair and also why men hate when women get their hate cut short.

Hair length is also tied to fighting; you don't want to give any advantage to your opponent which is why warriors always have short (or no) hair.

EMAIL FROM ELLIOTT:

The Gabby Douglas issue is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Amazing that the critics would diminish her accomplishments in that way.
I am a 55 white male with a major receding hairline and my pony tail is about 12 inches long and I love it. Why? Because I always wanted to. I conformed to the standard male hair cut until I was 52.
The Gabby Douglas issue is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Amazing that the critics would diminish her accomplishments in that way.

EMAIL FROM TONI:

My husband studied Japanese for many years, and we travelled to Japan a couple of times in the 1990s. Early in the decade, I noticed that even in small towns the beauty shops advertised themselves with images of western women (hair and eyes and general facial shapes are different).

In the early 90s, women outside Tokyo were universally black haired, except in the north where there was some Russian influence, leaving women with brown tints in their hair. In Tokyo, women were beginning to add color to their hair. By the end of the decade, it was only a minority of women whose hair color was natural black. Everyone, even in small towns, was adding streaks or tints of brown, red or even blond coloring. It used to be that you could spot the westerners on a bus by hair color, but no longer. It seems to be part of an emulation of things western, or even American.

One Japanese friend said to me that it must be wonderful being a western mother waiting to look at her newborn: the child could look like anything, but Japanese children all looked the same, same hair color, same eyes, etc.

Asian hair also requires special techniques, since it tends to be coarser than western hair. Japanese friends in the US have to find the hairdressers who know how to cut their hair.

EMAIL FROM MARY:

Our son is a tow-headed, blue eyed blond. From the time he was old enough to express it until middle school he wore a baseball hat to keep people 's hands off of his head. In a Chinese restaurant, the staff would come out from the back to rub his head!

In general, people are curious. Sadly, that doesn't always translate well regarding respect for personal space and good manners.

Blond jokes....from a blond...are tasteless and insulting.

EMAIL FROM KATE:

The Black Hair Care Section..."Ghetto" or Oasis?

You might be surprised.

We should talk.

EMAIL FROM BRIAN:

I think you guys are way overthinking, They are really a way to clean up a race joke.

I turned grey at 28, never looked a day older. I’m 54 now.

Disney wise Snow White had black hair.