dear white people, not only can you not touch black people’s hair, but you’re also not allowed to make disparaging jokes about it. fashion police host giuliana rancic learned this lesson after saying actress zendaya coleman’s faux dreadlocks smelled like “patchouli” or “weed” at the oscars on sunday night.
for the record, zendaya was doing it for the gawds at the oscars, wearing an all-white vivienne westwood dress with long dreads. the 18 year-old boldly disrupted the beauty matrix by rocking a hairstyle that some would label too pedestrian for the formal event. it’s taken years for sisters to rock the hair that actually grows from their scalps on the red carpet so faux locks is definitely a milestone. i mean, what’s next? braids? *gasp*
while black folks were slow clapping at zendaya’s decision to show authenticity in a white-washed spaced (literally white-washed as there were no people of color nominated in any acting categories at the awards) rancic decided it was time to take shots. claiming she was only commenting on zendaya’s “bohemian chic” look makes the fashion critic comments even worse. race privilege allows whites to limit locs — a hairstyle that historically represents an act of resistance — to a fashion trend. race privilege also allows whites to brush aside their comments as a joke when the comments clearly draw upon racist stereotypes.
thankfully, it’s clapback season and zendaya responded to rancic’s comments in the thoughtful instagram post below: