It seems Zahara has become a target, as have Seal and Heidi Klum’s children, for those among the black American population who are hung up on hair issues. Perhaps more so because these children are being raised by whites. The general overtone of the attacks is the racial insecurity issues and hang-ups that many blacks have about hair.
When the Jolie-Pitts adopted Zahara from Ethiopia in 2004, Zahara’s life changed forever. Thrust into the spotlight, Zahara has become an obsession in the media, but particularly the black media, whose main concern has become Zahara’s “unkempt” hair.
Zahara’s hair, and the hair of many famous black [mixed race]children, has become such an issue that it resulted in Newsweek publishing an entire article dedicated to the politics of it.
Sadly, the article, written by African American writer Allison Samuels, as an attempt to educate or call out the Jolie-Pitts, is nothing but a miserable attack on this child. In the article, Samuels writes:
[A]ny self-respecting black mother knows that she must comb, oil, and brush her daughter’s hair every night. This prevents the hair from matting up, drying out, and breaking off.
Samuel went on to write:
In recent pictures it’s clear Angelina Jolie hasn’t taken the time to learn or understand the long and painful history of African-American women and hair. If she had I can’t imagine she would continue to allow Zahara to look like she has in the past few months. Photos of Zahara show the 4-year-old girl sporting hair that is wild and unstyled, uncombed and dry. Basically: a ‘hot mess.’
As if the attack on this child wasn’t bad enough, recently, Bossip, a popular gossip website dedicated to black celebrities, felt the need to express its concern about Zahara’s hair, with the headline: Zahara’s Hair Is A Self-Esteem Issue Waiting To Happen.
In the opinion piece, the writer opines:
[W]ith all the money they’ve made working…Brangelina has yet to discover the awesome powers of an African-American hairdresser? A year after Mama and Papa Jolie-Pitt proudly revealed they invested in Carol’s Daughter products for their Ethiopian daughter’s hair, it’s still looking unruly and effortlessly unkempt.
When you consider that Don Imus’s “nappy headed ho” quote is still infamous for striking a chord with black American females, and Chris Rock’s documentary–Good Hair recently poke fun at black hair issues, it’s understandable why Zahara’s hair has become a major issue among blacks.
But, at some point, this obsession needs to stop. Zahara is barely six years old. She wears her hair natural, and loosely curled. There’s nothing wrong with it. The irony is how concerned these black hair critics are with Zahara’s “self-esteem,” when it’s dwelling on hair that has caused self-esteem issues among black females.
The bottomline. Let Zahara be a child.