Dear Glamour, Was Serena Williams’ hair really an Olympic Beauty Do?
I’m just saying. Someone has to ask if the hair Serena “wore” for the Olympics was really a beauty do. In their most recent October 2012 issue, Glamour published an article on the The Top 10 Glamour Dos & Don’ts of the Month (their countdown of hits and misses in fashion—and life!)
Who was featured, you wonder? Well, here are the winners, per Glamour:
Best overall – Gabby Douglas
Best eye makeup – Aly Reisman
Best hair – Serena Williams
Best nails – Ruta Meilutyte
Best braids – Sanya Richards-Ross
Gabby won for best overall, and they quickly addressed the hate surrounding her hair during the Olympics. Here’s what the caption says: In gym and beauty, Gabby Douglas’ happy attitude won us over. Even when people trash-talked her hair (we know, crazy), she laughed it off. Gold in our book.
And now, for Serena. She won for best hair (*side-eye*), and that caption reads: Love this voluminous, natural-curl awesomeness on American tennis powerhouse (and gold medalist) Serena Williams.
Let me tell you why I think this is problematic. And I want to be totally clear. Calling this wig or weave (I can’t tell which one it is) “natural-curl awesomeness” is a little strange. I am not attacking Williams’ hair choice. Instead, I’m asking Glamour if that hair was really worthy of “natural-curl awesomeness”? What in the world do they mean when they say natural-curl? The fact that it’s not straight? I’m confused. Maybe this is an example of a different use for the term natural…..
Now, I am by no means a member of the natural hair police. Because they do exist (just read this post on Solange Knowles’ reaction to criticism about her hair). Am I one of the many obsessed with black hair? Per The Grio, black hair obsession is a cultural fact. Specifically, “Beauty for African-American women has always been a top priority, with hair being the Olympic pinnacle of appearance considerations” (Thegrio.com 2012).
I’m just calling attention to the irony of applauding synthetic hair and recognizing it as natural curl awesomeness. Maybe a better candidate for best hair, in my opinion, would have been Lolo Jones or Allyson Felix.
Was Serena’s hair an example of “natural-curl awesomeness”? Should Glamour re-evaluate?