I thought Akiba had snuck on here with a post when I saw our last headline was “Gabby. Work!” — like, look at her being up on the Olympics on our blog when I didn’t even know she was watching. Turns out, no, she was talking about a 2010 Elle cover of Gabby Sidibe, not the gymnast champion. Whatever the blog equivalent of cobwebs is, now’s the time to dust ours off and show small.medium.large a little bit of love.
Speaking of Gabby, I refuse to talk about a child’s hair on the internet or even to discuss that people were discussing a child’s hair on the internet. Anyone raised with a smidge of sense knows better than that.
However, I’m nowhere near above talking about Oprah’s hair. This “natural” hair that she is reportedly wearing on the new cover of O is not, as anyone with Black hair can attest to, “natural.” Or that’s what I thought…until Twitter and Facebook informed me that “natural” hair now means hair that you didn’t buy it. Oprah, via her magazine’s website, is publicizing this as natural because it is “…the first time ever, Oprah’s appearing on the cover of O without blow-drying or straightening her hair. She says that wearing her hair naturally—as she often does on weekends and on vacation—makes her feel unencumbered.”
Oprah, a child of the 60s from Mississippi who lived in Black Hair Capitals Baltimore and Chicago, knows that this is a real stretch of the word “natural.” Missing a date with the comb attachment on your blow dryer does not make your hair natural, it makes it un-blow dried. Oprah considered going for real natural with a close-cropped Camille Cosby look, but Bill told her she had the wrong-shaped head for all of that (mind your business, Bill, lest we start telling you that you have the wrong belly shape for all those tight sweaters). So instead we are left with this cover, where she looks more 80s crimped out than 70s Afro’d out.
I suspect Oprah is enjoying this. She has been looking for hair accolades for as far back as when she was wearing those green contacts on her show. In the early 90s she told us she’d always wanted “hair that moves.” Then, in the early 2000s she was so happy to have it, she told Chris Rock to stick his fingers in her roots to prove it was all hers. Everyone cites Tom Cruise trampolining on that couch, but the Root Feel-Up was the ultimate inappropriate moment of her talk show run.