Comedian and writer, Phoebe Robinson, wants you to know that you can’t touch her hair. She is the host of two podcasts: 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys, and the author of her new book, You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain. Robinson adds her own take on feminism, race, and experiences through her own eyes. Her book engages with the fact that “being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day.”
In an interview with NPR, she says,
“I can’t not speak up or stand up for myself because I’m afraid that people are not going to like me because I’m a black woman with an opinion…There’s this whole notion of ‘black women are angry’ or ‘black women are sassy’ or, like, ‘have bad attitudes,'” she says. “And so you always want to be in space where — at least I was for a while — where I was like: I want to be likable.”
In an episode of Soo Many White Guys, Robinson says, “Don’t treat me like a weirdo cause I didn’t straighten my hair today.” Historically, black hair has been a source of both fascination and criticism. Robinson says, “We are taught to change our hair to fit in.” While dreadlocks can be banned in the workplace, Marc Jacobs is prancing his models down the runway with faux dreadlocks. There’s a strong disparity in America with black hair. We can’t wear natural dreadlocks to work, but models can on the runway at fashion week? Comedian, Chris Rock’s movie, Good Hair, notes that girls as little as 2 years old are getting perms, because stick-straight hair is what is accepted in society and stick-straight hair is seen as “good hair.”
Robinson’s book covers more than just hair, though. She discusses voicing one’s own opinion, culture, and prejudice.
You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain, is available now!
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