Robin Robinson of Fox News, recently reported on the dilemma that many African-American women face regarding a desire to maintain their processed hairstyles and the need to maintain a healthy body. Against a montage of fat behinds, we learn that 4/5 black women are overweight and that concern for their hair keeps them from the exercise that can save their lives. The report then shoots to a clip with a city health commissioner to confirm that hair is one of the excuses that he hears from his black patients, regarding their resistance to exercise. Due to this problem, Robin reports, many women are now seeking out hairstyles that work with an active lifestyle.
Robin inserts herself into the story by going to a salon and having her permed hair wrapped before going to the gym. She wants to see how her processed hair stands up to a workout. She finds that her hair is not ready “to go to work” and ultimately decides to go with what she calls an “ethnic” hairstyle. She opts for twists. Her own experience is interspersed with testimonies from women with natural hair, who are working out at a gym. One woman confesses “straight [hair] is more professional”. Another woman, who now has twists and once had locks reveals that she was not able to wear her natural hair until she retired. Now outside of the workforce, she believes that “we have to take the first step and walk into the board room with our hair twisted and just sit there.” So this is exactly what Robin Robinson does. She sits in front of the camera and says: “So I am just sitting here in your boardroom… after all you are the boss. I am here to inform you, not to startle or distract you with my appearance. There on the left is what I usually look like. That’s last night. Tonight’s hairstyle is definitely what is called a more ethnic look. The question for you: Does one seem more professional or acceptable than the other? You decide.”
Yes boss. Yessuh Massa.
Her co-anchor, who i guess is her boss replies: “You look the same to me”.
To prove that it is also different and weird for her and that she whole-heartedly subscribes to dominant norms, she says ” No, even for me it takes some getting used to. You know every time I pass by a mirror, I’m doing a double take”
Through out this entire exchange, her co-anchor awkwardly looks at Robin’s hair and almost looks as if he wants to touch it.
I am not even going to say anything about this right now. I am going to let it marinate and come back to you in a little while with my critiques.
Watch the video.