I was a little offended when I first started watching this clip. Here were two anchors at a desk–an older white male and a white woman–introducing a story about black woman and their hair. Error/Offense #1 for me. Then the voiceover, in what I call a race-neutral news voice–void of anything that alerts you to the ethnicity of the reporter–starts talking about black women and their hair. About a mother who feels some kind of way because her daughter is teased on the playground about her natural tresses…a dermatologist saying he sees tons of black women who have substantial hair and scalp damage due to relaxers and weaves…and then finally the reporter herself, who at about the 3 minute mark of this 5+ minute story, reveals that she too has suffered from being pressured to wear her hair and look a certain way for her career and that she did the BC, the Big Chop. While I was glad to see that a black woman was doing the reporting for the segment, I still felt some kind of way. I feel like we can’t have nothing (good or bad) to ourselves without it making the news or being sensationalized. I personally don’t think this is a good thing (that the news is reporting on our hair), especially since it’s not the “whole” story. I’m natural and I didn’t do it for none of the above reasons that were highlighted in the segment. Although I know several women who did, I know even more who did it just because. And being a communications professional myself and former PR and journalism major in HS and college, I know that you can’t get everything into that 30-second soundbite or 2 minute story (but this one was more than 5!), but people will always take the snippet they heard and run with it. If I was the “other” I’d walk away (after viewing this and other recent stories on us) saying “Wow, black women have it so hard! They can’t find or keep a good man or “good hair,” and their little girls have low self-esteem because their hair is kinky…” I think, overall, I’d feel just a tad bit better if the story included 1 or 2 women who just wanted a different hairstyle or a lifestyle change (e.g. all natural diet inside and out), so they decided to go natural.
Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.