Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Could Michelle Obama Wear Her Hair Naturally?

There is no doubt that Michelle Obama is an absolutely stunning woman, but you would not know this given how she has been treated in the media.  No matter how much she conforms to White expectations, she will always and forever be a Black woman and therefor she will be understood to be angry, and ugly.  This is exactly why the image of natural hair photo shopped to Michelle Obama has been making the rounds on twitter.

I must admit that when I saw the above image, I went squee.  She would look absolutely wonderful with this look, but it wouldn't be long before it was politicized and decried in the public sphere because natural hair is still very much seen as radical. When it comes to Black women, hair isn't simply hair. How long do you think it would be before the likes of Limbaugh and friends would be attacking her for this look?

No matter how beautiful this look is, there are plenty of professional women who can only dream of arriving to work looking like this.  Because hair is deemed to send a political message, companies have been known to call our natural tresses a distraction, unprofessional, and in some cases extreme. Having Michelle rock a natural would absolutely call these assertions into question, but at the same time, it would serve to cause yet another round of attacks aimed at the FLOTUS.  I would love to see her go completely natural for the sake of all the women who cannot, and for all of the little Black girls who are taught that the hair that grows out of their head is ugly, but one person no matter how powerful can completely change social discourse.  In the end, it's White supremacy that needs to change and to understand that difference does not necessarily mean threat.

We all have to make our own compromises when it comes to our hair.  I know that I personally battled with feeling like a sell out when I recently bought a wig I loved.  Over time I have come to understand that the choices we make with our hair have everything to do with the pressure we receive about it.  Sometimes the angst comes from our families, who have come to see relaxed hair as the only way to be fit to engage with others. Black women must constantly struggle to love ourselves in a world which tells us daily that we are not worthy.  Natural or with a blow out, Michelle is beautiful and though this is simply a photoshopped image, it's mere existence opens the doors to possibilities.

What do you think of this look and do you believe that Michelle would face negative consequences where she to wear her hair like this?