Surely the many debates and lawsuits stemming from disagreements over cornrows, Afros, and dreadlocks have driven home this lesson.But Brooks is not black, so let's put that worry on the backburner.
Still, in such a serious situation as an interrogation by Parliament, why risk being misread, mischaracterized or misunderstood?Would you say that to a black person with a trademark extravagant hairstyle?
... One could argue that it’s to Brooks’ credit that she refrained from dramatically altering her signature look. She is who she is. She didn’t pull her hair into a trim bun or clip it into a ponytail. Either choice would have made her hair less of a distraction, but it also might have made it less of a personal comfort.It would have been distracting to change it, and I bet Givhan would have written her column about that.
[Brooks's hair is] a spray of self-conscious indifference.... [P]erhaps... Brooks was attempting to defy presumptions.... But that’s a pretty brazen thing to do when Parliament is on your case for defying laws, ethics and common decency.Do you, like Givhan, attribute that to brazen ego, or do you think that a powerful person, called to account by government, should maintain the basic aspects of her image and individuality? And how much of a self-defense is it, really, to become someone other than who you've been, by taking away your tangled, spangled, and spaghettied hair?
Brooks’ hair was a distraction because it was a ballsy rebuke of our expectations governing how people on the defensive are supposed to tread.