Before she was even born folks were placing bets on how likely she was to come out looking like her joke-magnet of a daddy, Sean “Jay-Z the Camel” Carter.
Then, after she arrived (and the world breathed a collective sigh of relief that the baby seemed to have inherited a nose and lips similar to that of her mom, Beyonce,), looks-related attacks of other kinds popped up, the one most recently over Blue Ivy’s apparently uncombed hair, photographed during a family trip to Paris.
The blogs had a field day over the weekend, poking fun of innocent images of the one-year-old offspring of “King Camel and Queen Beysus,” per Bossip, traveling through France, some posting nasty memes that, among others, compared the child to hip hop star Drake.
Sandra Rose quipped that the toddler had “nappy hair, looking like Buckwheat,” while the Twittersphere was predictably mean, with one follower asking “Why the f— Beyonce won’t do Blue Ivy’s hair? That baby ugly enough already.”
The whole thing makes you wonder about how miserable folks have to be in their own lives to take aim at a child for looking like a normal little girl rather than an extra on “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
Similar to the controversy that courted gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas after her historical wins at the London Olympics last summer, the hair haters appeared in full force – most predictably, Black women. Reminiscent of that classic scene in Spike Lee’s 1988 musical-drama “School Daze” where the Jigaboos faced off against the Wannabes in a war over “natural” versus weaved-and-wig hair, this time, instead of projecting age-old tensions at other adults over being perceived as either too “nappy” or “fake,” they cast them upon a one-year-old incapable of doing her own hair, and a mom — already a slave to public perception — who is clearly not interested in her daughter becoming one, too.
You’d think with the natural hair movement currently in full swing that Beyonce might be spared the pressure to slap a “Just for Me” children’s perm kit into her child’s hair, or some bows and barrettes or whatever folks would find more presentable than her natural baby ringlets. But because the judgmental vitriol remains between hair camps — with some of the newest naturalistas declaring their afros, twists and locs as evidence they truly love themselves — it’s no wonder little Blue can’t find a safe haven even there: the so-called “natural hair mafia” might just as well turn its back on her the moment her baby fro was hot-combed.
In the end it’s all just harmless ridicule, though — or is it?
Blue Ivy aside, what message do we send our daughters and other little girls — ones that are old enough to understand what “ugly” and “nappy” mean — just because they rock their hair in its natural state, which may not or not always be perfectly coiffed?
What message do we reinforce within ourselves about our own beauty – or lack-thereof — when we are easily shamed into trying to conform to other people’s visions of beauty and not our own?
Viewing Blue Ivy’s hair controversy through that lens doesn’t make her situation nearly as funny then, does it?
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