Hi SHE Fam! Last week after the 2015 Oscars, a comment was made by E Online’s Giuliana Rancic about Zendaya Coleman’s hair. Zendaya came to the Red Carpet with a gorgeous white dress and beautiful long locks. Giuliana basically said that Zendaya looked as if she smelled of oils and weed. The comment stirred up major controversy with the Disney star, Giuliana’s cast mate, Kelly Osbourne and the E Network.

I found the comment interesting and worthy of posting about because it’s directly related to a topic that my fellow SHE Bloggers and I have discussed in previous posts. The stereotype of ethnic hair goes beyond Corporate America and is now a trending topic in Hollywood.

Zendaya, respectfully responded to the comment from Giuliana using her social media handle to express her feelings of being disrespected. She further explained the offense taken by the prejudice remarks by sharing those of high statues who also wear dreadlocks. According to Entertainment Weekly, Giuliana has apologized to Zendaya for the remark, implying that it was a joke and was never meant to offend her or anyone with dreadlocks.

Similar to dreadlocks there are many ethnic styles that seem questionable. In my post, Embracing the Difference in Black Hair, I shared how box braids were viewed by my coworkers. And whereas, it comes off insensitive, prejudice and somewhat ignorant, I believe that people associate dreadlocks with those of Jamaican roots…Bob Marley, etc.

How Do You Educate Others about Dreadlocks?
Before we can effectively educate others on dreadlocks or any style that’s considered “black hair,” it’s important to check your own frame of reference. We do this with natural hair right now. Yes, it’s been a 3-4 year buzz around natural hair and educating others on the benefits of not using relaxers. The large numbers of “naturalistas” showcasing their knowledge and healthy hair has persuaded the best of us to get into it, making us aware, informed and furthermore, the new norm. Have we gotten there yet with dreadlocks?

Many natural hair bloggers and experts include dreadlocks in their catalog of articles, how-to’s and posts around natural hair. However, it’s still not an average style that many women in Hollywood take to. We all know that styles and trends are formed in Hollywood. Outside of Zendaya the only other woman in Hollywood on the red carpet this past week was Selma’s director, Ava Dunery. A few other celebrities we reference when talking dreadlocks is Ledisi, Whoopi Goldberg and Lauryn Hill.

On one hand we would like to classify dreadlocks as just another hairstyle that people just don’t understand. On the other hand, the hairstyle exudes confidence and boldness; the same characteristics of many of the other natural hairstyles that have become common. The buzz around dreadlocks may have come from an insensitive and ignorant place, but it brought about awareness and respect for black hair and black culture.

Other posts related to this topic:
Why is Natural Hair So Unnatural in the Workplace
Odd Things People Say to Naturals

With sass and class.

-Lyssa

We want to hear from you. What are your thoughts about the buzz around dreadlocks?