(You will have to excuse my language in the following post)
I initially wanted to view the topic of Blue Ivy's hair as a light subject, worthy of only interesting internet memes. I really did. But the past few days, people on social media began acting like members of the Nappy Hair Squad, too busy over-policing a 2 year old child's hair and suggesting she looks as if nobody cares about her.
What I don't really care for is the amount of ridiculous, ill-mannered, know-nothing speculation which poured out in comment after comment underneath each photo of Blue Ivy's hair on social media and various websites.
To be blunt, I don't care all that much about Beyonce or Jay-Z. My musical tastes are varied (hey, Bjork!) so I rarely listen to her (or his) music aside from hearing it played during entertainment news reports and in Youtube parodies.
But now that a few nosy-ass people have questioned the well-being of a 2 year old child because of her hair — and started a goddamn Change.org petition — I can't keep my mouth closed on the issue.
Yall know that I tend to leave hot topics alone at curlytea.com. But I think grown-ass people need to leave this 2 year old child alone.
The real problem is not Blue Ivy's hair, but rather the social programming which many black women have gone through that makes some of us unable to positively process the mere sight of real black hair in its non-manipulated form — even on the head of a 2 year old child.
People didn't look favorably on Blue Ivy's picture and say 'oh Blue Ivy must have been playing in her hair today! Little cutie!' Nope.
People didn't even make positive grownup-based jokes about the picture like "Blue Ivy musta put her hand in her mouth to stop herself from cussin out the paparazzi'. Or 'Blue Ivy be like: 2 Years Natural! Don't Hate!".
Those jokey comments can only be made if a person chooses to process that photograph through an innocent, non-hateful filter.
However, some of the stuff I've read on Facebook and other websites about that child's hair and her parents alleged unwillingness to "do something" to it was outright hateful.
Blue Ivy is not some random ratchet reality TV star who has put her business out in the streets for people to ridicule. She is a 2 year old child who lives in a two-parent household where both parents are well-off. She has a grandmother that loves her and an aunt who would probably beat a jigga's ass if anybody came at her sideways. Just ask Jay-Z. But I digress.
With that said, don't take the following factual statements as a personal affront:
1. Blue Ivy's hair is none of your damn business. It's just not.
2. It's none of my damn business. It's just not.
3. We aren't her parents.
4. Our rent won't get paid if her hair is in a bun.
5. We won't turn into millionaires if Beyonce gels down her edges.
6. We don't get free groceries as long as Blue Ivy's hair is in two-strand twists.
Curlytea's webhosting fees won't get paid if Beyonce runs a rat-tail comb through her natural hair. I simply don't care how people think Blue Ivy's hair should be "maintained", or whether it should be "styled" at all. Whatever "style" Blue Ivy gets will probably be messed up again by the end of the day anyway like all 2 year olds.
Even having a public discussion about what her parents should do to her hair is ridiculous. I've seen all types of comments on social media ranging from 'it doesn't look moisturized' (as if they've felt Blue Ivy's hair) to 'she looks neglected' (as if black hair in that state is inherently indicative of neglect).
Tamar Braxton, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt — grown-ass famous women — even commented about this baby's head on a radio show! Syleena (whoever that is) reportedly compared Blue Ivy's hair to the late rapper Old Dirty Bastard (ODB).
Some chick named Jasmine Toliver created a Change.org petition about combing this little girl's hair. Toliver called her petition a "joke". But jokes are supposed to be funny.
Jokes meant to ridicule or cause other people to demean the natural nature of someone's 2 year old kid are never funny, regardless of the context.
Beyonce, Solange and Jay Z are all adults and public figures, making them fair game for criticism and ridicule. Where are the joke petitions about them?
Toliver didn't start a joke petition for Beyonce to free her long, blonde weaves from captivity. She didn't start a joke petition for Beyonce to stop releasing music with cheap-ass beats all willy-nilly on the internet. (Ooo! Did I say that? Yep.) Toliver didn't start a joke petition to make Solange the Heavyweight Champion of the world after jumping on Jay Z in that elevator. No.
As a matter of fact, Toliver didn't just joke about starting a petition. She ACTUALLY STARTED A REAL, LIVE PETITION at the national website Change.org.
I guess the public was supposed to laugh or shake our heads at the petition and keep it moving. It was all meant to be in fun, right?
Without social media, however, this would have just been one person's misguided attempt at humor. It wasn't just Toliver, though. Everybody had to weigh-in. Some people had to post photographic proof of how it's possible to braid up and slick down a black girl's hair. Other people had to assume Blue Ivy's hair was never detangled and was always dry.
People were really losing their mind with speculation over Blue Ivy's hair and inserting snide little remarks about her care. That $hit should be completely off-limits. That baby's hair is not meant to be the punchline of random jokes by random people on random social media sites.
Her family didn't post that picture and ask for public comments. They didn't even pose for the picture itself.
As a matter of fact, I'm suspicious as to whether or not the response would be the same given a different set of circumstances.
I wonder if half these people would have a problem with that little girl's hair if it wasn't "done" and was the same length, EXCEPT it was a wavy 2C hair type with little fine baby hairs in the front? Or 3A/3B type hair with big, fat, loose ringlets?
I wonder if Blue Ivy's hair would inspire grown-ass women to post Facebook rants if it were exactly the same texture and state of being, but it was very long, and super thick instead?
Honestly, does anybody know if Blue Ivy was in the middle of getting her hair "done" but the family had to move and they just got caught by paparazzi going from point A to point B? Let me catch some of yall running to the grocery store to pick up some more coconut oil on your day off. I bet I'd see a sight!
Why is it imperative that a 2 year old's hair be "done" as defined by social standards passed down during generations of black oppression? Beyonce better "grease" that head and braid it up, right? Because nappy hair all "wild" like that is an "embarrassment", right?? Nonsense.
Why should a 2 year old's hair be "done" as defined by people stuck on equating "styled" hair with being loved and taken care of? Beyonce must not care about Blue Ivy at all, right? Because she "let her go out the house looking like that", right?? Nonsense.
Probably the most disappointing thing about this whole situation is that it came not just from relaxed women. The chick that started the petition says she herself is natural. Other ladies who have 'gone natural' outright decreed (just from looking at pictures, mind you) that there was definitely something wrong with Blue Ivy's hair. That it should be combed, it wasn't moisturized, and needed to be detangled.
As if they've laid a finger on that child's hair to know its moisture content or ran a hand through it to see how tangled is was! And if they did, so what? How is that the public's business?
Being a natural now, and having 2nd and 3rd cousins who are also natural, just be thankful that Blue Ivy doesn't have gum in there… or a lollipop stuck in there… or random mismatching barrettes up there… or a chunk of hair cut out because she found some scissors and got 'creative' like children sometimes do.
The media has a billion photos of a smiling, well-put-together Beyonce. They aren't really interested in spending money on paparazzi photos showing the same thing. They will more quickly choose to publish a photo of that family looking like they just threw something on to get from point A to point B.
Photos showing both Blue Ivy and her mama looking snatched, primped and coiffed wouldn't garner as much attention as the photo that's currently making the rounds.
While these people are worried about Blue Ivy's hair, many don't give a damn about the little girls right down the street or a few blocks from their neighborhood.
If the following doesn't apply to you, then I'm not talking to you. I'm using the universal "you", so don't respond like I just kicked your dog.
For those who want to micromanage The Carter household, how much time have you spent worrying about the child down the street whose mama is working 2 jobs and doesn't have an adequate amount of time to spend with her? Do you care about that child? Go do her mama a favor and babysit that little girl for free. But you probably got your own problems, right?
Do you care about the child whose mama is in the club until 2AM and whose dad is in prison? Go check on her at 1AM and make sure her "uncle" (mother's temporary boyfriend) isn't abusing her. Sit up with her until her mama sobers up. But I bet you can't be bothered with that either.
Do you give a damn about the child with two parents who are both struggling HARD to keep food on the table? Go kick in on their rent and help out with groceries once a month. Buy their child some barrettes and offer to "do" her hair for free. But I bet you ain't got time for that, though.
Probably the majority of people who are choosing to police Blue Ivy's hair won't offer any direct, real life help to those little girls in their own neighborhoods who aren't famous.
People on the internet 'ain't got time for that', but they got time to be Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and Colonel of the Online Nappy Hair Police. For real??
The public saw a few minutes (or seconds) of Blue Ivy being carried by her father from one place to another, but that's supposed to be indicative of her whole life? For real??
Right now Blue Ivy probably has more money in her play-purse than most of us have in our big girl purses. She certainly has more in her parent's bank accounts. But somebody has to run a comb through her hair to make the internet feel better? For real??
If I could only post one hashtag to sum up how I feel about this whole mess, it would be: #SitYallAssesDown