Actress Gabrielle Union revealed in a recent beauty panel discussion with Essence Magazine that she was heavily criticized for dying her hair blonde for a new movie role. She said that people questioned her “blackness” and her character because of her new hair color.
She said that she felt strongly that it was her choice but that she had only done it for a role in the movie. She stated in a blog,
“It feels like my choice – or what they thought was my choice – to be closer to white somehow reflected on everybody.”
The way that everyone has reacted has shown the true way that people perceive black women who have blonde hair. It seems to them that the women are less black because they do not have their natural hair color. Shouldn’t black women be able to express themselves through popular styles just like everyone else without criticism?
Does a black woman dying her hair blonde really mean that she is ashamed of her roots, or that she is trying to be more white, or does it just mean that she likes that hair color and wants a new style?
A few years ago Beyonce was criticized for the same thing. She dyed her hair an almost platinum blonde and it had people asking if she was betraying her roots. A writer for Daily Mail said that Beyonce’s ignorance to her heritage was damaging to people of all color. Many said that she should have stuck to her roots and stayed with her natural hair color. Beyonce has also been criticized for appearing to have had her skin color lightened for magazine covers.