Dear Glamour, Was Serena Williams’ hair really an Olympic Beauty Do?

Dear Glamour, Was Serena Williams’ hair really an Olympic Beauty Do?

Source: Glamour

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

Source: Tennis World USA

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 hairPer 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” ( 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? 


6 thoughts on “Dear Glamour, Was Serena Williams’ hair really an Olympic Beauty Do?

  1. I agree. Lolo and Allyson may have been a better choice for best hair. Maybe they were just trying to show that “support” for curly hair…but they were just wrong in every way. Serena’s hair wasn’t cute in my opinion..

    • Hi Courtney, Thanks for stopping by. Your point is a good one. They may have been trying to show support for natural hair. But I think I’m such a stickler for natural hair, that I know a fail when I see one.

  2. Pingback: The Week in Review: 5 Most-Viewed Posts on NHM September 16 | Natural Hair in the Media

  3. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. I’ve seen extension braids lauded in the natural hair section of Sophisticate’s Black Hair all the time. Onve they even used a relaxed head with some braids thrown in for good measure lol

    And yeah, I would’ve given this a pass for not being her true natural hair if it didn’t just look an overall mess.

    BTW, you’ve been nominated for an award 😉

    • Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s interesting to see something like this in a mainstream magazine. I have seen braids applauded as if they were natural hair *side eye*

      LOL at “an overall mess”. I can’t disagree with that.

      And thank you so much for the nomination. I’ll be sure to put together my list and share it.


  4. Pingback: The Week in Review: 5 Most-Viewed Posts on NHM September 23 | Natural Hair in the Media

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