Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why Michelle's Hair Matters
Time ^ | Monday, Sep. 07, 2009 | Jenee Desmond-Harris

Posted on 08/28/2009 5:47:16 AM PDT by nickcarraway

When the First Lady attended a country-music event in July without a single strand of hair falling below her jawline, the blogosphere exploded with outbursts ranging from adoration to vitriol. Things settled down only when her deputy press secretary clarified that there had been no First Haircut. In the aftermath, a didactic post on MichelleObamaWatch.com proclaimed that anyone "familiar with the amazing versatility of black hair" would have known that the new summer look was simply "pinned up."

Many Americans have dismissed this hair hubbub as simply more media-driven noise — like the chatter about Michelle Obama's sleeveless dresses, J. Crew cardigans, stocking-free legs or, for that matter, recent (shocking!) decision to wear shorts in the Arizona heat. But for African-American women like me, hair is something else altogether — singular in its capacity to command interest and carry cultural baggage. The obsession with Michelle's hair took hold long before Inaugural Ball gowns were imagined, private-school choices scrutinized or organic gardens harvested. It's not that she's done anything outrageous. The new updo wasn't really all that dramatic a departure from variations we've seen on her before (the "flip-out," the "flip-under," the long-ago abandoned "helmet"). Still, her hair is the catalyst for a conversation that begins with style but quickly

(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: fashion; flotusmichelle; hair; michelle; obama

1 posted on 08/28/2009 5:47:16 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Hair won’t change the fact that she is an ugly women inside and out.


2 posted on 08/28/2009 5:48:05 AM PDT by angcat (GO YANKEES! I LOVE MY YANKEES!!!!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Time actually wasted ink and paper on this pap. And they wonder why their rag is going down the crapper.


3 posted on 08/28/2009 5:50:34 AM PDT by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
The obsession with Michelle's hair

I hadn't heard about this. It's interesting to me that the first I do hear of it is this article which, I take it, is calling me an ignorant racist for my views on the sibject of Michelle's hair.

Love the chip-on-the-shoulder approach.

4 posted on 08/28/2009 5:51:58 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: angcat

Time has sunk to the intellectual level of the Harvard Law Review when it was run by the Obamaloon.


5 posted on 08/28/2009 5:53:34 AM PDT by Da Coyote
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
I read the headline and immediately thought Michelle Maulkin.

Dangit....

6 posted on 08/28/2009 5:54:28 AM PDT by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

At this point I think Oprah magazine would have more insight covering the Obama’s than Time.


7 posted on 08/28/2009 5:54:53 AM PDT by mainepatsfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Victor

Sorry.


8 posted on 08/28/2009 5:55:49 AM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
This article is unbelievable. I actually went to it to find out when, if and why Michelle's HAIR mattered.

From the article:

Still, her hair is the catalyst for a conversation that begins with style but quickly transcends outward appearance and ultimately transcends Michelle herself — a symbol for African-American women's status in terms of beauty, acceptance and power.

Still more nonsense:

The choice many black women make to alter their hair's natural texture has undeniable historical and psychological underpinnings. It has been attributed to everything from a history of oppression and assimilation to media-influenced notions of beauty and simple personal aesthetics. But one thing is certain. For the many who wear straightened styles like Michelle's, the decision is deliberate, and the maintenance is significant.

Who knew?

9 posted on 08/28/2009 5:58:05 AM PDT by Neverforget01 (Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Nice - more race-baiting from the liberal rag. Who gives a hoot about Madame O’s hair? It’s what’s in her mind that people are concerned about. And it ain’t pretty.


10 posted on 08/28/2009 5:58:09 AM PDT by SueRae
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I wish more black women would just let go of the fear and go natural. Who needs all the angst? Black hair is cool and versatile, and frankly most of the straightened looks seem a little tortured.


11 posted on 08/28/2009 6:00:21 AM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (The War on Poverty is over. Poverty won. - Howie Carr)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: angcat
My brother got his butt kicked by a Michelle look alike in grade school. Bumped into her on a stairwell.

Pinned him down while her girlfriends started kicking him in the groin. Thankfully a teacher happened to walk by and stop the mugging.

She could give Mike Tyson a run for his money....

Every time I see Michelle I think of that mugging my brother experienced.

12 posted on 08/28/2009 6:00:23 AM PDT by PA-RIVER
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Sorry, I have NEVER found kinky hair of ANY color attractive! And yes, no matter what she trys to do with her hair, she is still butt ugly!


13 posted on 08/28/2009 6:01:14 AM PDT by WellyP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I am more bothered by the hair on her back and her nosehairs.


14 posted on 08/28/2009 6:01:34 AM PDT by dforest (Who is the real Jim Thompson? I am.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Time for distraction
Roll out a few new haircuts,
Just like Hillary...


15 posted on 08/28/2009 6:02:28 AM PDT by Haiku Guy (If You have a Right / To the Service I provide / I must be a Slave)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: angcat

I couldn’t make it past the first paragraph. I could feel the brain cells dying slowly, painfully...


16 posted on 08/28/2009 6:03:05 AM PDT by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I like that graphic. Kinda like the barbershop photos depicting available styles.


17 posted on 08/28/2009 6:03:07 AM PDT by Clock King (There's no way to fix D.C.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The_Victor

Me too! That’s the Michelle that first came to my mind.

Anyway, the writer is telling us that we’re racist in thinking about the First Lady’s hair? Guess what - I hadn’t given it a thought until she brought it up!

So she ties it up or back for the summer. Who doesn’t?

And another thing - most conservatives are far too worried about everything else the POTUS is doing to our country. Mrs. 0’s hair and fashion sense are about the last thing on our minds.


18 posted on 08/28/2009 6:05:09 AM PDT by Joann37
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: The_Victor

“I’ve got a fever, and the only cure, is more Michelle Malkin!”


19 posted on 08/28/2009 6:06:02 AM PDT by Enigo54 (Never back down, never surrender)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kieri
Condi Rice is a beautiful women and yet they never mentioned that when she was part of the Evil Bush Administration.
20 posted on 08/28/2009 6:06:02 AM PDT by angcat (GO YANKEES! I LOVE MY YANKEES!!!!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
But for African-American women like me, hair is something else altogether — singular in its capacity to command interest and carry cultural baggage

I cannot believe Michelle Obama's hair is of interest to anyone except her hairdresser, and herself.

Making news out of something so profoundly unnewsworthy.....yawn, another 'journalist' smoking the hopium.

21 posted on 08/28/2009 6:11:24 AM PDT by Lizavetta (In Communism everything is free. But there isn't any of it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

This article should have appeared in Ebony, not Time. But the comments on this forum indicate a level of shallowness about the subject.


22 posted on 08/28/2009 6:14:45 AM PDT by Clock King (There's no way to fix D.C.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
"Look! Look over here! See where I'm waving my hands in the air? Yes, over here!"....What?..... Health care?......"

"No, come back. Don't pay any attention to that nasty ol' Health care Reform issue...Look at MO's hair! Don't you remember when she changed her hair style for a night? Let's talk about that again!"

These idiots for BO are so desperate to change the focus they'll try anything. It won't work because we really do know what is important and we really will fight back!

23 posted on 08/28/2009 6:14:51 AM PDT by CAluvdubya (Palin 2012...YOU BETCHA!.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
The do..........


Michelle Obama had just about everyone fooled
when she debuted a shorter new ‘do at a White
House country music event Tuesday.

24 posted on 08/28/2009 6:17:22 AM PDT by deport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
It's ironic - making a big deal out of Michelle's hair & then wondering why it's such a big deal!!

If any ink should be wasted on Michelle - it should be about her looking like a 'Goodwill Bag Lady' instead of pretending that sbe is a fashion queen!

25 posted on 08/28/2009 6:18:28 AM PDT by LADY J (Change your thoughts and you change your world. - Norman Vincent Peale)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Actually, I had noticed that Michelle wasn’t sporting the straightened hair this summer. I have wondered if she had burnt it up with all of the processing, or had decided to “go ‘fro”.

I can see the issue that this article is referring to. When I see Michelle with glossy, straightened hair - I think to myself “There she goes, trying to look like Jackie O”. I think it’s sad that black women feel like their natural hair isn’t attractive.

I have a really good friend who happens to be a black woman, she spends endless time & money on her hair. Now, to be honest - so do many white women. For 30 years, I colored, permed and spent and fortune on getting mine styled until one day I just said enough is enough. At one time I figured I had about $1000 per inch invested in my hair. That is ridiculous!

But to get back to the point, I would rather see Michelle let her hair go natural. If she really wants to be seen as a “fashion role model” - this would be the opportunity to show black women that it’s OK to go natural. That black really is beautiful. I would actually respect that.

As funny as it sounds, there really are a lot of cultural issues when it comes to black women and their hair.


26 posted on 08/28/2009 6:22:08 AM PDT by alicewonders (Sarah Palin is the face of America's future.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: indylindy

Me too and I must include her rotten insides and ugly outsides.

If she is a “lady” how does she qualify?


27 posted on 08/28/2009 6:23:37 AM PDT by tiger63
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

In other words, when she straighens it she goes white-y. How many african hair product companies will be closed when she and Tyra bring back the nappy look.


28 posted on 08/28/2009 6:33:37 AM PDT by bgill (The evidence simply does not support the official position of the Obama administration)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Neverforget01

>>The choice many black women make to alter their hair’s natural texture has undeniable historical and psychological underpinnings. It has been attributed to everything from a history of oppression and assimilation to media-influenced notions of beauty and simple personal aesthetics. But one thing is certain. For the many who wear straightened styles like Michelle’s, the decision is deliberate, and the maintenance is significant. <<

The woman who wrote this is denying her own race.
Michelle needs to look black for a change. Her hairstyles are lazy. She wears wigs and the tiny ponytails of a woman who needs straightening.

Let her walk out in Pineapple waves and we’ll talk.


29 posted on 08/28/2009 6:50:52 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: alicewonders
When she looks like this

That's when she looks like she is not embarrassed by her race

30 posted on 08/28/2009 6:53:54 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom

I think “corn rows” would be nice. GAG!


31 posted on 08/28/2009 7:13:45 AM PDT by jslade (People that are easily offended OFFEND ME!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: PA-RIVER

That’s why I put my kids in karate from the age of 4.


32 posted on 08/28/2009 7:14:41 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied, the economy died)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: jslade
It would certainly make her look more like the race she is.

I see nothing wrong with this...

Those are cornrows and it's fast becoming a lost art. My sister does them.

33 posted on 08/28/2009 7:24:10 AM PDT by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
Regardless of how much I find Mrs. Obama a national disgrace, as someone with obnoxiously kinky hair, this is an issue albeit not one on the level with Cap & Tax or HCR.

Traditional/natural black hair styles have a connotation associated with them, and it's mostly bad. It can even be read in some of the comments on this thread. Mrs. Obama’s hair styles are entirely unnatural and “white”. Whether she wears wigs or straightens her hair, she takes great pains to make her hair not look natural.

Mrs. Obama obviously has a reason she does this. I'm not convinced the looking “white” is the only reason, but I do believe it's a factor. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that part of it is the deceptions which are part of the Obama illusion.

34 posted on 08/28/2009 7:24:34 AM PDT by FourPeas (Why does Professor Presbury's wolfhound, Roy, endeavour to bite him?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Neverforget01

Is wearing a cheap plastic belt up high under the boobs also a symbol of slave-era oppression? Sheeze.


35 posted on 08/28/2009 9:03:52 AM PDT by Mamzelle (Who is Kenneth Gladney?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom

I am also impressed with these sorts of elaborate braidings. They are elegant and harken back to the days of intricate styling of the nineteenth century. I understand they take hours to accomplish, but last a long time, and can be washed without undoing them. This is a particularly pretty one!


36 posted on 08/28/2009 9:06:13 AM PDT by Mamzelle (Who is Kenneth Gladney?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The best photo of her was taken at her wedding. She had her hair cropped short and it was natural. It looked OUTSTANDING and that’s the way I (as a white person who once worked with a black friend who . . . with my permission... used to run her fingers through my hair because it was so soft).

If I felt as she does about race . . . I would not be spending my time or my children’s time doing unimaginable things to my hair. I’d crop it like the wedding photo and other people would just have to deal with their biases.

And I can say this as I have shaved my hair down to the skin many times in the past couple of years for no other reason than because I can.


37 posted on 08/28/2009 10:55:57 AM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (At Thermopylae, 1 Million Persians lost 20 Thousand yet failed to disarm 300 Spartans. Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HighlyOpinionated

I failed to finish my first sentence. . . that’s the way I would suggest she wear her hair and her children’s hair.


38 posted on 08/28/2009 11:00:41 AM PDT by HighlyOpinionated (At Thermopylae, 1 Million Persians lost 20 Thousand yet failed to disarm 300 Spartans. Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: angcat

I’m more interested in her character. To heck with the outward trappings.


39 posted on 08/28/2009 11:32:53 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Clock King

That’s because we don’t give a crap about her hair.


40 posted on 08/28/2009 11:34:49 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: deport

Now that hairdo looks decent.


41 posted on 08/28/2009 11:35:18 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: HighlyOpinionated

I wish I could do that, too. I’ve had short haircuts for a while now but my cheeks are full and it doesn’t look so good on me. I get my hair done every week and now I’m letting it grow longer. I get a perm every few months. It’s gotten pretty white and straight.


42 posted on 08/28/2009 11:38:45 AM PDT by Marysecretary (GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
This is a Dem thing.

Doesn't anyone remember how Hillary's constantly changing hairstyle was in the news when they first got in the WH?

Eventually she settled for the plain style she has today but she couldn't figure out who she was for a long time.

43 posted on 08/28/2009 12:02:58 PM PDT by what's up
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: alicewonders
"I can see the issue that this article is referring to. When I see Michelle with glossy, straightened hair - I think to myself “There she goes, trying to look like Jackie O”. I think it’s sad that black women feel like their natural hair isn’t attractive."

You are inferring a lot here. Sometimes it's just a matter of preference. I have wavy hair, but most of the time, I like to use a flat iron to straighten it. Doesn't mean I think wearing my hair wavy is ugly.

44 posted on 08/28/2009 9:24:23 PM PDT by Valentine_W
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: angcat

only a burka will help!!!


45 posted on 08/28/2009 9:25:42 PM PDT by dalereed
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: dalereed

Don’t insult the Burka!


46 posted on 08/29/2009 8:16:09 AM PDT by angcat (GO YANKEES! I LOVE MY YANKEES!!!!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson