I write this piece as a follow up to my previous post that articulates an overview of the complexities harbored in the Gorilla Glue story. In this brief post, I seek to reference the elephant in the room.
While some question why the gorilla glue story was news, others have taken it upon themselves to censure Tesica Brown for what they see as stupidity. The elephant in the room is that Brown acquired harm for seeking to adopt western-imposed beauty standards that have to come to define black female beauty. What I am referencing here, is that the same woman who glued her hair to her scalp, did so as a means to rock inauthentic locks that abide by the same colonial dissonance that inspired both her eyelashes and color contacts. Brown, though arriving at a consequence that many have distanced themselves from, delineates the extent to which black women go to be considered beautiful or attractive in an unforgiving black world.
From Youtube testimonials where black woman reveal they have gone bald, or faced extensive hair damage, from weaves, to beautiful brown and black skin turned pink or purple by bleaching cream, imposed European standards have convinced she who inspires a beauty industry based on the acquisition of what she has indigenously that she is not beautiful. The caveat to this created reality is a capitalistic incentive that tells the black woman, through advertisements and celebrities that acquire wealth and fame, that they too can acquire beauty with eyelash or hair extensions, contacts, or even surgery to slice and dice a body that many surgical procedures were invented to emulate.
I say this to say, Brown’s beauty procedure is not unlike the unseen routines of who the white media has deemed beautiful black women. From the news anchors and network correspondents to black celebrities who mask their natural hair with weaves or wigs, to the eyelashes that fan faces manicured by a foundation the white world contends as necessary for a “flawless” finish[, colonial insecurity has become a normalized means to lure the black woman into cognitive bondage veiled as “glam” or “beauty.” This cognitive bondage leads many black consumers to believe that they are buying into a beauty culture, whereas they are being bought and sold to whoever bids highest for the soul of black folks as vested in the expropriated black aesthetic.
Furthermore, this white supremacist space continues to do as it always has, burn the candle at both ends. Deeming the augmented aesthetic as necessary for black women to consummate beauty and as a means of censure, incites the black consumer to love the anti-black capitalist society for providing a path to western beauty and visibility but hating their collective or individual selves for “doing it wrong.”
Moreover, Brown’s defilement by the white media during black history month proves a formidable way to challenge what a western world lures the African in America to conceptualize as beautiful. While it won’t be in Instagram or Tik Tok, this is a challenge that I do hope many throughout the diaspora will take.
One Comment Add yours
This!!! You hit the nail on the head! And the crazy thing is, the steps and methods we have inherited in order to assimilate into the western ans European inspired standard of beauty, are still mocked and scoffed at. We’re mocked for being natural and were mocked at trying to be acceptable and meet society’s norms! Overall being punished for what – as you described- is indigenous to us while others who emulate or make a caricature of these same qualities and techniques are praised.
You see many a white woman or poc now gelling their straight hair down and making unnecessary baby hairs while we do that so that we don’t look wild or disheveled according to bystanders. It’s mind boggling