Damon Williams on Natural Hair – Interview on Live It Love It Do It blog

Here at NHM, I believe in diversity of opinions. I don’t need everyone to agree with me, and I certainly don’t agree with everyone. And I have to say: I read the following post titled, “Natural Hair According to Comedian and Actor, Damon Williams” at LiveItLoveItDoIt,and I was a little confused.

Source: Live It, Love It, Do It

In it, the blog author interviews comedian and actor Damon Williams about…. wait for it: natural hair. I have to be honest. When I first saw the post in my Google Alerts, I was a little confused. What could a bald man have to say about natural hair in commercials? On what are you basing your opinion? I have to say, I was giving major *side eye*.

So then I clicked on the post. And I’ll let you figure out what happened next.

Apparently, Williams tweeted about natural hair in commercials. Below, you’ll see his statements, followed by my comments in bold.

Here’s how he clarified what he said: “Actually, my tweet was pointing out in commercials that there is a disproportionate amount of African Americans with wild, unruly and unrealistic hairstyles. I think it’s a conscious effort to portray us in a certain way”.

True, natural hair is taking over. *shrugs* But here’s my question: what makes it disproportionate? why are these hairstyles wild? what does he mean by unruly? and why the heck is it unrealistic?

He then goes on to explain the basis of his statement.

“This is based on the fact that my son used to do commercials. On one particular occasion, we were running late for an audition, so we didn’t make it to the barber. He was selected for a Bounty spot with his hair all over his head. When we arrived at the shoot, they were livid that his hair was neatly shaped and told me to never do that again if he’s selected.”

I don’t get how his statement clarifies what he said earlier. 

Q (interviewed by @ThirdEye365):  As a comedian and actor, if you wore locs; it would not affect your career. (I’m assuming). In corporate America, locs (even if they are neat and clean) are frowned upon. What words of advice do you have for our brothers and sisters who are in corporate America and feel their hair is keeping them from growing BUT they do not want to cut or change their hair?

Will locs continue to be a “problem” partially because people keep saying  it’s a problem? 

“Make a choice based on their individual desire. If they definitely feel their appearance is a hinderance, they should adapt. You can keep it real and not prosper, conform to advance  or look for an opportunity elsewhere that is more liberal. To make it simple, wear your hair anyway you can afford. You can be stylish and broke or less stylish and have more dough.”

Q. Artist such as N’Dambi, Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway and a few more chose to
wear their natural hair but I feel as though they are underrated. Do
you think their hair has something to do with it? Do you think the
entertainment industry is less accepting of African American women
with natural hair?

“First let me say those are 3 supremely talented women. I don’t think they are hampered by their hair. I think the genre of music they perform is more of a niche as opposed to mainstream or popular. Entertainment execs will try to mold an image to promote an artist. Actually, I think Ledisi is getting her shine. I saw her perform on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony which is very mainstream. I do think that most female performers feel like they must wear weave down their backs to be accepted. I saw Michele Williams once being profiled and her stylist told her she need to do weave to make a glamorous statement in which she reluctantly conceded.”

Q. Why do you find women with natural hair beautiful?

“I love natural beauty overall. I prefer a woman to wear as little make up as possible and this fake eyelash trend is laughable. I think natural hair exudes confidence and we all know confidence is sexy. I do understand that black women are challenged to balance hair and fitness; so many wear natural hair so they can maintain their workout schedule”.

To my readers: why did you go natural? was it to maintain your workout schedule? or was it to have healthier hair?

Q. There are a lot of women who want to wear their natural hair but they
are reluctant for whatever reason. What words of encouragement do you
have for them?

“It’s not for everyone, depending on your lifestyle, career and overall appearance. The key is to keep it stylish. Natural is great but not if you look like you just woke up and ran out the house like they do in some of those commercials.”

Dude, what commercials are you talking about?

Granted, that Nivea advertisement was not the business. But what other examples do you have?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m still confused.  What is this interview saying?

Read the original post on the blog, Live It Love It Do Ithere.

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9 thoughts on “Damon Williams on Natural Hair – Interview on Live It Love It Do It blog

  1. Hi Tiffany, I’m the creator of Liveitloveitdoit.com. I think what Damon said was clear. Being a media personality he’s probably witnessed a lot more up close and personal than all of us. So he is privy how we are portrayed. As a black man with children, mother, wife etc i’m sure he has an inkling as to what goes on. There are multiple commercials for styling products which show women with natural hair in a not so good light. You’ve seen them. We’ve all seen them. You know, the ones that show the black woman who can barely get a comb through her hair or the ones that say “if you use this product then your hair will be beautiful”. This is not to say that all commercials are that way but most are. So there is a disproportioned amount of commercials that do show natural hair in a positive light. So I think a lot of people took what he said out of context.

    • Hi Teyah. Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you took the time to read and respond to my post.

      To be honest, I don’t follow Damon on Twitter. I don’t know what the original tweet said. I’m basing my comments on what I read in the interview.

      Unfortunately, nowhere in the interview does he mention commercials for natural hair products.His comment is very general. If he was talking about products marketed to women with natural hair, that was not clear in his comment. This is why I asked: “dude, what commercials are you talking about”? This question doesn’t assume they don’t exist, it’s just asking for clarification.

      I can’t speak to all of his experiences as a media personality. Based on the interview, he is offering one isolated example of how his son’s hair was perceived for a Bounty commercial. Maybe he’s seen more, but it’s not explained in this interview.

      I’m not sure how other followers/readers have responded. But for me, these burning questions still remain: what commercials is he talking about? why are these hairstyles wild? what does he mean by unruly? and why are the hairstyles unrealistic?

      Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up interview. Thanks again,

      Tiffany

  2. Hello Tiffany,

    I’m Ebony Gray (@Thirdeye365) and I interviewed Damon Williams. Thank you for pinging back to our website. When we interview people about natural hair; they don’t have to have natural hair or hair at all to have an opinion. I’m sure his circle is not limited to bald people only. lol Therefore, he can speak about. Although we both have natural hair and celebrate natural hair; we also celebrate empowerment, spirituality and positive self images. We have up & coming artist spotlight, established/legendary artist spotlight and much more. When we interview people, we don’t coax them on what to say. Those were HIS opinions and that does not mean we agree with everything he said. Again, thank you for pingin back and checking out our site. Have a good one.

    • Hello Ebony. The creator (Teyah) of your blog also stopped by in response to my post. I definitely understand that his opinion may not reflect those of the the blog’s creators. If it seemed like I was suggesting that, I definitely did not intend to give that impression.

      I understand that everyone has an opinion. Bald, long hair don’t care, TWA, male, female, white, Asian, black, Latino, etc. My question was meant to understand how informed his opinion is. As a blogger who has dedicated herself to exploring the representation of natural hair in the media, I feel qualified to engage in any and all conversations about this very issue.

      And I’m personally interested in learning more about what commercials he’s seen or experiences he’s had that support his comment: “Actually, my tweet was pointing out in commercials that there is a disproportionate amount of African Americans with wild, unruly and unrealistic hairstyles. I think it’s a conscious effort to portray us in a certain way”. By questioning this statement, I’m not suggesting that they don’t exist. I’m asking for more information.

      Again, thanks for stopping by,

      Tiffany

  3. Pingback: The Week in Review: 5 Most-Viewed Posts on NHM June 10 « Natural Hair in the Media

  4. Pingback: A few of my FAVORITE things!! « Natural Hair in the Media

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