Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Rebekah Brooks really needs to worry about is the message her hair sends

There’s a time when a wild mane of wavy auburn hair sends just the right message of breezy nonconformity and proud individuality, but when you’re trying to convince the world that you’re an aboveboard, by-the-rules, straitlaced sort of manager—who’s done nothing illegal—boho hair plays to your disadvantage.
The hair in question belongs to Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News Corp.’s News International who resigned in the midst of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. That controversy, for anyone who has been otherwise distracted, has Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct London-based tabloid under investigation for systematically and illegally gaining access to the voicemail of both public and private citizens. Brooks, who oversaw the conglomerate’s U.K. news division, was called to testify before the British Parliament to answer the usual litany of scandal-related queries: What did she know? When did she know it?
Brooks’ hair was a distraction because it was a ballsy rebuke of our expectations governing how people on the defensive are supposed to tread. There was no suggestion of humility, timidity, or caution. There was no attempt to disappear into doleful anonymity.
That was look-at-me hair—stare at me, remember me. Me, me, me. Read more...
...the fuck?

Robin Givhan's latest at The Daily Beast is steaming rubbish. Not only does she devote a column to picking apart the looks of a female executive, whose job and appearance in court have nothing to do with her looks, but she does so using typical bigotry that preferences Eurocentric beauty standards.

Yes, I understand that former NewsCorp head Rebekah Brooks is European and white. But it's not just women of color who fail to live up to the sleek, blonde haired ideal. While a "sensible" bob would be a benign styling choice, Brooks' thick, curly, ginger mane sends all sorts of wild messages, according to Givhan, including that the embattled executive is trying to "rise above society's rules" and that she lacks "humility." Apparently, curls mark you as an uppity woman...and no one likes that!

Is Givhan's unsolicited advice to Brooks any different from the tips a Glamour editor gave a roomful of female attorneys a few years ago?
First slide up: an African American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the 'Glamour' editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was 'shocking' that some people still think it 'appropriate' to wear those hairstyles at the office. 'No offense,' she sniffed, but those 'political' hairstyles really have to go. Read more...
Ladies, it's like the late Michael Jackson said, "It don't matter if you're black or white..." as long as you keep your hair tight--as in straightened and under control. Because wearing your natural curly or kinky hair gives people license to think all sorts of bad things about you. And you definitely should give in to that. No need to be a revolutionary.

I sure hope no one at my job notices that my super-sized twist out is unworthy of my executive position.



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