Black Hair: Leave Zahara Alone

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.


About TCDH

Blogger with an opinion.
This entry was posted in Black people, Celebrities, Rant. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Black Hair: Leave Zahara Alone

  1. Y says:


    I had no idea this was going on. I find it a bit ironic that the Newsweek writer talked about “self-respecting” black mothers taking care of their children's hair when we all know there is chronic ignorance and misinformation about black hair care amongst black people.

  2. Thaddeus says:

    Wow. That's just sad. I didn't realize that people were really this neurotic about hair. As for “dry, burned and damaged hair”, nothing could be worse that the chemicals many black mothers subject their daughters to in order that they might have “good hair”. Zahara looks like she has perfectly normal and quite attractive hair to me.

  3. Anonymous says:

    FYI natural back hair care is just as involved as any other hair care. it does not involve just slathering on some random product without knowledge of benefits and shortfalls. there must be a degree of learning and understanding to maintain black hair. the child in question does not appear to be getting that kind of treatment. especially because natural black hair requires protection and wearing it loose and dry is not beneficial, it is often times harmful.

  4. Anonymous says:

    These critics are ridiculous! She's beautiful! Let her be child for petes sake!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh! Just let the little girl's hair be! When she is old enough she will take care of it, herself! At the moment it looks natural, unburdened and free just as she herself should be.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh wow I have always loved the look of her hair. It suites her so well. It is a part of what makes her such a pretty little girl to me. People are so messed up not seeing the beauty in it. 😦 boo on you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Listen…My mother is black and she didnt know how to take care of my hair and No, I didnt go to a hair salon, it wasn't until I got in my teens that I was able to take care of my own hair….And Zahara's mother may think her daughters are wayyyyy too young to go to any hair salon. Zahara's hair is grogeous as it is and well only get better as she get older….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Can i create a FB groupe “leave zahara alone!” by this article?

  9. Linda Dorah says:

    Zahara is so cute I can’t stop looking at her, she is just perfect and adorable. Just look where she is now and I give thumbs up to both Angie and Britt.

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