by LINDSAY CAREY
It’s award show season, so every other weekend I find myself hunkering down to watch the red carpet footage of the events—because I’m just that kind of girl I guess.
I only care to actually watch a handful of the award shows, because let’s be honest, they’re predictable and in my opinion.
My interests really are the gowns, the makeup, and the musical performances, which I usually watch on YouTube the following day. I like watching the red carpet, and until recently I was a big “Fashion Police” fan.
With Joan Rivers recent passing, the show has finally returned with some new cast members. I watched the new show, but quite frankly wasn’t as drawn to it since Joan is gone. I liked the old cast.
However, this week I found that the two original cast members Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne, who I was a fan of, made some offensive comments about actress and singer Zendaya’s hair.
Zendaya opted for a hairstyle known as “faux locs,” which is essentially a temporary form of dread locks.
The 18-year-old starlet sported a beautiful white off-the-shoulder dress and natural looking makeup. In my opinion, she looked flawless, and I was pleased to see someone so young boldly embrace dreadlocks on the red carpet.
Two summers ago, I sported faux locsin a similar fashion and received only compliments during the time I kept them. I received compliments from people of all different races and backgrounds and they all asked me how I got my hair to be so long and healthy. When they found out they were fake, they were shocked.
So when I saw the footage of Giuliana Rancic making fun of Zendaya’s look, I personaly took offense to it.
Giuliana said that Zendaya looked like she smelled of “patchouli oil,” and Kelly Osbourne jumped in to add “or weed.”
I understand that “Fashion Police” is a show where celebrities are brutally judged on their appearance; however, I never expected the hosts to use such an insensitive stereotype.
Imagine how someone with real dreadlocks must have felt hearing this?
Dreadlocks in both West Indian and African American cultures is a respected hairstyle because historically it is generated by a religious belief. It also embraces the naturally thick and course texture of our hair and not a vision of what some segments of society want it to be.
Zendaya noted in her response to the criticism that locs are culturally recognized as a symbol of strength and beauty.
I am so disappointed by the comments on this fashin “roundtable” because I am proud of my own natural hair and respect other’s decisions to dread their hair. I’m also disappointed because they chose to pick on dreadlocks that were, by anyone’s standards, very neat. Also they chose to attack a young woman who was dressed elegantly.
Over the years, I have witnessed the hosts of “Fashion Police” praise ugly or promiscuous outfits as well as Kelly Osborne’s ridiculous purple hair. Yet, Zendaya was a class act with a hairstyle respected by many, but found hersef the victim of a cruel joke.
Zendaya’s response via social media demonstrated as much poise as she exhibited on the red carpet.
She noted she has family members, as do I, who have dreadlocks. Zendaya also provided a long list of successful individuals who have dreadlocks and do not fit the stereotype that Giuliana Rancic used on the show.
I mean for Pete’s sake, Whoopi Goldberg is on one of daytime TV’s biggest shows and won an Oscar herself and has been wearing dreadlocks for years..
Anyway, I digress.
Rancic did post an apology to Zendaya on Twitter, which I hope is sincere, I will no longer be watching a show with co-hosts who make ignorant comments and feed into stereotypes that should no longer exist in America today, but sadly do.
We all should strive to be sensitive and respectful the cultural traditions and practices of others.
If you have not seen the pictures of Zendaya at the Oscars, please Google them. Her look was absolutely stunning and did not deserve the harsh criticism.
For now, I’ll leave you with an important quote from Zendaya’s detailed response.
“There is already a harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair,” said Zendaya’s post. “My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
Lindsay Carey is a staff writer for The Observer.