I stumbled across this post while perusing Jezebel.* Apparently, it's the second in a series from Alison Samuels explaining why Angelina Jolie is guilty of something -- racism? stupidity? poor fashion sense? -- based on the look her daughter's hair. I missed the first post, but here's the gist: Jolie's daughter is from Ethiopia. Jolie lets her daughter's hair grow naturally. Consequently, Jolie's daugher's hair looks like hair that you see in Ethiopia (and among some members of the Ethiopian immigrant community, I note). Which, apparently, is a big deal or something.
Look, I don't know anything about hair or fashion. Believe me on this. I definitely don't know anything about African-American hair styles. And I ain't wading into the debate over how decades of racism have affected African-American hair styles except to say: Yes, they did. I will venture that Alison Samuels' column makes zero sense to me. And that the responses by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jezebel, and Postbourgie seem very sensible. But what do I know? Nothing. Maybe Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jezebel, and Postbourgie are idiots on this subject, and I'm a fool for thinking otherwise.
I do know one thing, however, that seems related. You can criticize every parent for how he or she raises his or her kids. Every parent screws up. Every parent fails in someone's eyes at least some of the time. It just goes with the territory. If the parent and kid are of difference races, I guarantee that some of the criticism is going to be racial. Again, it just goes with the territory. It seems that people can't help themselves.
Alison Samuels may indeed be charting some unique racial issue, but her work also fits inside the colorblind category of poking your nose where it doesn't belong. Outside cases of legitimate child abuse, the appropriate response to such criticism is: F_ck off. If your only problem with Angelina Jolie is that you don't like her kid's hair, give her a frakin' medal. Because she's your damn parent of the year.
Finally, this is the last post that I ever want to write about Angelina Jolie. Or, for that matter, Brangelina, or TomKat, or whomever. It's friggin' stupid crap penning an "open letter" to any of them complaining about their kids' hair. Just stop it.
Now, everyone, 'eff off.**
UPDATE: I think I know what set me off about Samuels' piece(s). It's that no one -- including Samuels -- has any idea what the backstory to these pictures is. Maybe Jolie and her daughter talk about hair all the time. Maybe the daughter likes her hair this way. Maybe Jolie really, really wants to style her daughter's hair to Samuels' liking, but her daughter is fighting her every step of the way and Jolie is picking her battles. I don't know; no one knows outside of the Jolie family. I do know, however, that if you see my kid running around wearing pajama pants and a cape, it is not necessarily the outfit that I picked out for him. But if it is, why do you care?
*Yes, I sometimes read Jezebel. Screw you.
**It's possible that I'm feeling a little surly today.