The comedian Sheryl Underwood has recently come under fire for comments that she made regarding Afro hair when it was revealed that the super model Heidi Klum kept her bi-racial children’s hair as keepsakes. Ms. Underwood labeled the hair as “nasty”, “bad” and stated that “no one wants that hair” I too was upset with her poor taste in jokes and spent way too much time thinking of reasons as to why she shouldn’t have said those things. I also spent way too much time thinking of other things that Ms. Underwood should focus on like her weight, how to get her afro hair healthy from the overuse of chemicals, how to further advance her fading comedy career and the list goes on.
I wonder if the hatred that she has for Afro hair was born out of experiences that she endured as a child and if that is the case “get in line Ms. Underwood because you stand with many women of color that walked the same road” The values of our hair and beauty were often missed as our parents, grandparents, and great parents often had to endure the same harsh realities that they passed down to their children. They never understood the beauty in their chocolate skin or intricately curled hair, they never shared stories of how their ancestors walked tall and was proud of their dark skin and beautifully coiled hair. They were only taught to hate the beautiful differences that set them apart from those that had rule over them. They never saw the beauty in an Afro, Afro puffs, or their thick luscious curls.
I think that the grave injustice is that Ms. Underwood basked in the laughter of her white counterparts as she went on her tirade about the very hair that she hides under weave. She didn’t give in to her conscious that sounded the alarm of the self hate that she was putting on display nor did she think of the cost that she would pay for those poorly spoken words. She only gave way to the obvious that she would rather cover her God given hair with hair that she has no clue as to it’s origin nor does she know what regulations the country that packaged the hair has in place and in the event that it is “real” human hair she has no clue as to what the person had to endure so that she could wear their hair , and offend those that resembled her just to get a few laughs.
I honestly believe that Ms. Underwood embraces the words that she spoke however I don’t believe that she was smart enough to realize that words spoken can never be taken back. In today’s society people are coming under fire more and more regarding outlandish comments and they make every attempt to walk it back. The reality of what Ms. Underwood did is that even if she apologizes she will never be remembered as a great comedian, she will never be remembered for her creative mind, she will never go down as one of the greats….she will simply be remembered as the lady who downed Afro hair.