So We Can Talk About Pam Oliver’s Hair Hat But Not Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Line Up?

March 7, 2014  |  

If ever you needed proof of black male privilege, look no further than Chiwetel Ejiofor’s hairline.

How he was able to skirt through the Academy Award’s red carpet, looking like his hairline was on one long, pissy-drunk cry for attention, and escape being called to the real red carpet of social media and the blogosphere to explain himself, is beyond my understanding. Despite the fact that Chiwetel’s hairline has looked like this for some time, I had expected a good dragging. Just moments after his hairline pop-locked across my computer screen, I literally went and popped a bag of popcorn in the microwave and started monitoring the key words: Ejiofor’s hairline on Twitter. It started off good:

Naaaaaah… HOL’ UP! Who said Chiwetel Ejiofor’s hairline is still a slave? LMFAO

@darrenmoten: Y’all gotta follow Chiwetel Ejiofor’s hairline to freedom!

Chiwetel Ejiofor ‘s hairline reminds me of a bitten sandwich on so many levels.

But then the burns slowed down to a whisper and then to barely a peep at all. Granted, we were all preoccupied with the actual award show so I thought I might have to wait until after the ceremony. Besides, you have to give people some time to get those think pieces together. But it took two whole days before a meme about Ejiofor’s Jagged Edge reunion showed up on my timeline. And only a handful of online publications, ran any mention of the hairline-gone-wild.

In fact there was little to no dialogue, debate, or discourse of any kind. Not one essay on Ejiofor’s hairline and how it underscores his significance in Hollywood. Not one single column questioning whether his wolf-like edges would be a wake up call to black men to embrace their more authentic selves. There were no calls to choose sides between #TeamLineUp vs #TeamHairlineWithoutBoundaries. No one even bothered to write a piece, calling out all of the Twitter users, who made fun of Ejiofor’s hairline for being ignorant and self-hating of their own natural tresses. I was so looking forward to reading 100-page comment threads filled with repetitious and hyper-capitalized responses like, “OH MY GOD, why are we talking about this? This is what’s WRONG with black people. We WORRY about the WRONG things…” But alas, nothing.

Granted there were more important things to gossip about from that evening, like Lupita N’yongo. And gossip about her we did. We talked about her clothing and her hair. And that cutesy little headband, which would show up every few red carpets. And we talked extensively about her dark skin. More specifically discussions like: what kind of impact her dark skin will have on beauty standards; whether or not our affection for her was real or if we were all just caught up in the white man’s latest fetish; and if her complexion should be a warning to lighter skinned women that their time is up (that was a real quiery in The Root). We pointed and counterpointed every aspect of that girl – with exception of her performance which got her to the platform to begin with. Meanwhile Ejiofor’s hairline wasn’t even an afterthought.

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