Like many of us who heard the comments by Guiliana Rancic regarding Zendaya an immediate opinion was formed. For me, I felt instant guilt. Guilt because I too had attached negative connotations to the hairstyle. Connotations that I knew to be inaccurate based on first hand knowledge. Yet, I still felt some kind of way about them. When me and my ex were having private moments, I would wish that he tied them up so that they didn't touch me. My reaction to them was instant dislike.
Now? Now I feel just as ignorant as Guiliana. It's hair. For some it's a hairstyle. For others its a symbol. Regardless, it's their hair. I began to recall how I've felt when people made comments about my hair. Good and Bad!! Why, have I always had this long lasting connection with hair and what's good hair and what's not? I'm not sure and honestly that's a topic to tackle in later post. But, the fact remains that by sitting in judgement of someone based on the texture and style of their hair is plain ignorant.
Zendaya, at the ripe old age of 18 schooled this 40 year old. She enlightened me in a way I never thought was possible. Her open letter to Guiliana explained the need for all of us to respect individualism and reinforced the idea of freedom of choice and the need to also respect that. I'm thankful for her. With so many negative images and comments out there, it was quite refreshing to see a young black lady respond eloquently while giving a nod to other women who represent black culture in the most positive ways.
In closing, I'd like to take a moment to apologize to my mom. She no longer has dreads but when she did I never complimented her on them. Instead, I curled my lip up and looked down on her. I'm sorry mom. Thank you for teaching me what it means to be an individual and to walk towards respect for yourself, especially after much adversity. Thank you and I Love You!!