According to Hello Beautiful, a blog for “millennial women of color,” a white woman getting a New York Times article written about her wearing a shower cap in public is basically an example of white privilege.
The NYT article in question, “Fighting Frizz? Then You Should’ve Put a Shower Cap on It” discusses how some lady who lives in Park Slope named Aly Walansky goes out with her shower cap on in the summer because it’s so, so humid out and she would “much rather embarrass whomever [she’s] with than arrive where [she’s] going with bad hair.”
No doubt, it seems like a weird thing to write an article about. I’ve got to say, I really, really don’t care. But Hello Beautiful does — because “when Black folks do this in public, they get a LOT of reactions, but New York Times articles aren’t among them.”
“But what in the holy ‘White People White Peopling And Making News For It’ hell is this?” the article, written by the blog’s staff, states. “From ‘boxer braids’ to calling North West a natural-hair icon to Kylie Jenner inventing wigs, this year should just be dubbed ‘The Year Columbusing Became The New Norm.’”
“We’ll stop short of calling this cultural appropriation because, well, you can have this one,” it continues. “But if folks are so interested in taking on the things we get criticized for, we can certainly think of a few things we’d like to happily pass along.”
Okay. Here’s the thing: Hello Beautiful is definitely correct that a black woman would get weird looks for going out with a shower cap on. But do you know what? So would I. So would anyone. In fact, even Park Slope lady says she “embarrass[es] whomever” she’s with when she does it. Why was there an article written about her? I really don’t know. People write dumb articles sometimes.
#related#After all, it’s not like the NYT was suggesting that the shower-cap idea was invented by white women. In fact, the article also included a picture of Joan Smalls, a Puerto Rican model, showing off her shower cap in a post on her Instagram.
Did the author interview any black women? No? Why? I don’t know . . . probably because she was writing an article about shower caps — shower caps — for the fashion section of a newspaper, and not a sociology dissertation. She was wrong, of course. After all, these days, everything — everything — has to be written as if it were the latter.