Do you ever stick your foot in your mouth? I did, on Super Bowl Sunday.
You know how most girls respond to compliments by degrading themselves? Like when someone says they look great, and they respond that they don't, but if only they had a thigh gap, then the compliment would actually be valid.
Yeah, I don't do that. Normally, upon receiving a compliment, I say "thank you" and act flattered (which I generally genuinely am) because I heard that makes the other person feel good about themselves.
But over the weekend, instead of being self-deprecating in response to a compliment, I did the extreme opposite.
I told everyone that I was better than Beyonce. Or rather, that my hair was better than Beyonce's hair.
The room got awkwardly silent after my girlfriend, during the halftime show, told me my hair looked "at least as good as Beyonce's."
"Oh my hair looks way better than hers!" came tumbling out of my mouth in response.
They caught my cocky fresh. I'm not even entirely sure what I was thinking. I guess I was channeling Beyonce's diva up on the screen. Maybe my subconscious was thinking "I like my ginger hair and my ginger Afro."
Luckily, one of my nicer friends saved face for me and said, "Oh you mean because her's is fake? That's definitely a weave."
Last week, I was in an eery fog. Like I couldn't even remember who I was over the past seven days. And I had so many thoughts jumbled in my head, that mumbo jumbo was spilling out because I couldn't formulate coherent thoughts before saying them out loud. Like one word would come out for the 10,000 words I was thinking, and then another word would come out from another compartment in my head that didn't coalesce with the first. My words were jitterbugging all over each other, like alphabet soup. Except for that one phrase, which I, to my detriment, said so clearly and loudly. Even though I was thinking 10,000 other things at the same time.
I think that perhaps I meant that my hair is thicker than hers, that hers looks fried (albeit intentionally I'm sure) and that real red trumps fake blonde. Mostly, I think I meant that if I had a team of people working on my hair, that it would look even bigger and bouncier -- and wilder -- than hers. Of course, I couldn't pull it off as well.
As a side note, it's hypocritical that she's singing about how she likes her baby's Afro, Negro noses and is trying to make a statement about black rights while she's progressively getting whiter and wearing fake blonde hair. Because she doesn't quite have the talent of Michael or Whitney, I know she needs to be light-skinned and not wear her natural hair in order to appeal to white and Asian audiences (and black ones who primarily prefer lighter skin). Although even Whitney had to learn to "talk white" for interviews. You ever wonder why Beyonce never does interview anymore? Apparently it's because she speaks ebonics and won't appeal to the masses (or, if you so believe, because she's possessed by Illuminati demons). Still, I'd like to see her wear her hair natural to really make a statement. Unfortunately, she's not a strong enough artist yet to be able to get away with doing that; her appeal is in her beauty, not her extreme talent, and the mainstream won't "get" natural hair. She's no India Arie.
(Side side note: Why am I the only one who gets that she's throwing shade at former Destiny's Child members with her lyrics, "Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation, cause I slay/Prove to me you got some coordination/Slay trick, or you get eliminated"?)
And while rereading this makes me feel uncomfortable -- like I should be humbler and entirely rescind what I said from my mind -- I can't. I'm tired of having to act humble all the time, just because I'm female. And honestly, I partially said what I said because I'm tired of basic bros and bitches telling me -- either straightforwardly or inadvertently -- that hair looks best straight. Not even realizing they've been conditioned to believe that by the white, mainstream, WASPy media, Hollywood and more. Or that my decision to wear my curls is many-layered (pun intended). It's a decision meant to:
a.) Honor what God gave me, by both making it look as best I can and NOT frying it with heating tools or damaging it with keratin treatments.
b.) Honor my Jewish roots for the many of us lost, and to fight against assimilation. (Which I suppose is ironic considering my interfaith family.)
c.) Prove my childhood hair bullies (and there were many) wrong. By showing my wild side (and let me tell you, it is wild, as any ginger phile I've ever met will tell you).
When I was younger, I used to think God gave me red hair to teach me that I couldn't control everything in life or make it perfect. Because that's what I always want to do; make everything in my life perfect. I have a feeling Beyonce can relate. Anyway, the type of people I generally like, friends and lovers alike, tend to prefer curls. Which is pretty much everyone who doesn't fit into the "basic" stereotype. And is especially true of those who come from cultures where curls are common: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Latin, etc.
Anyway, my foot-in-mouth experience became a teaching moment for me. It's the kind of thing that (catty) girls take and run with. They go behind your back and say things like "Can you believe what she said!?"; "She's so full of herself," "Is she blind? Her hair looks really gross the most of the time." So many times, I've heard a girl say something or another that really rubbed me the wrong way. I'd agonize over how stupid/bitchy/catty/stuck-up they were for weeks, not realizing she probably hadn't even thought about what she was saying. And probably didn't even mean what she said. I guess from now on I need to stop taking what other women say so seriously. And remember my own Super Bowl blunder.
From the Super Bowl when my hair had an even bigger ego than Beyonce.