Michelle Obama Wore Her Natural Hair On Holidays And The Internet Has Thoughts
The former first lady lets her hair down – literally – and the internet implodes.
Seriously, who does their hair when they’re on holidays?
I’m lucky enough to run a brush through it, let alone pack a GHD when taking time out from real life. Plus, a beach holiday means that you don’t even need to pack a sea salt spray for texture – nature just takes care of it for you.
So what’s with the furore that Michelle Obama,55, has let her hair down?
Paparazzi shots of the Obamas holidaying in France, as you do, show another side of the former first lady – with her natural hair.
Uhhh..i love Michelle..but michelle is all black..she not a biracial..black people have a head full of curly hair…”Michelle is wearing a beautiful curly perm on her hair”…🤗😍🤗
— IsISISaPrettyNickNameYes (@LuvLaceJubilee) June 20, 2019
It’s not the first time the internet has been treated to images of a beautiful African-American woman rocking gold hoop earrings and voluminous curly hair. It’s one of Queen Bey’s most powerful looks.
So why is it OK that a performer can present herself that way publicly but a politician’s wife can’t do it in private?
For African-American women, hair has always been a political issue.
In 2014, the US army tried to ban cornrows, twists and braids on women, styles that were popular among those with natural hair.
The Washington Post reported that a petition asked the army to reconsider, stating that 30% of women in the military aren’t caucasian and “[t]hese new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.”
https://t.co/CTdKhCR3sX strange how natural hair always come up on people of color? What about it?
— Lora Cobb (@LoraCob04074083) June 20, 2019
The natural hair movement is about more than just hair, it’s about embracing racial differences rather than trying to assimilate.
A report by market research agency Mintel found sales of hair relaxer in the US dropped 36.6% between 2012-17.
And when natural hair becomes a Beyonce lyric, you know that it’s gone mainstream.
“I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros/I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils,” she sings in Formation about embracing her African heritage.
Sydney hairdresser Anthony Nader of Raw Salon says Obama will always have a phenomenal fan base, but there’s a not-so-great reason why this paparazzi snap of her natural hair texture has people talking.
“I can’t imagine we would care in the same way if it wasn’t a woman of colour,” he says.
“Personally, I think Michelle’s natural hair texture is complete heaven. Honestly, I don’t want to dive in the deep end here and go back decades and decades around the suppression and judgement of women of colour, but there’s a long history of how women should and shouldn’t wear their hair.
“From my point of view, it should be totally A-OK and acceptable for all cultures to have a day off (so to speak) and showcase what God gave them. I’m all about embracing natural texture. Michelle’s hair is beautiful, voluminous, shiny and absolutely oozes femininity.”
He concedes straightened hair, on all races, always looks more polished and professional, but that doesn’t mean you have to devote every morning to serums, brushes and hairdryers.
“When you’re not taking on these measures, as Michelle did while on vacay in France, you’ll always showcase your true self, and give off a much more casual, laidback vibe,” he says.