ANN: And now, as a Yale graduate, would you ever get to the point where you could just say, “I don’t care about my hair”? I guess that would be like saying, “I don’t care about my appearance.”
KENEISHA: It would be like resigning myself to not take care of myself. I know it’s silly to spend so much money on hair, but it’s just an accessory to me now. It has no connotations. It’s like makeup or something at this point.
ANN: That’s actually good to hear. If you viewed a hairstyle as institutionalized racism that you had to comply with …
KENEISHA: That would be so sad.
ANN: This is all really fascinating to me.
KENEISHA: It’s really fascinating to me, and I live it.
Ann is the white woman, Keneisha the Black woman telling her about what it takes to style her hair. The quoted portion is how the discussion ends. And it’s about where an interesting piece completely runs off the tracks to me.
“If you viewed a hairstyle as institutionalized racism that you had to comply with …” « BUT IT IS!!!
“I know it’s silly to spend so much money on hair, but it’s just an accessory to me now. It has no connotations. It’s like makeup or something at this point.” « THEY BOTH HAVE CONNOTATIONS!!! Very serious ones, actually!
And I resent the inherent judgement in the idea that women who don’t use makeup or spend inordinate amounts of money on their hair aren’t “taking care of themselves”. Good lord what would these women think about those of us who don’t or rarely shave?? But I think I’m doing at least as much to “take care of myself” by rejecting other people’s norms for my body!