Fear of the White Ponytail
Nothing reeks of whiteness like a long ponytail flinging back and forth, ahem, a long blonde ponytail flinging back and forth.
How do I try to describe my own feelings toward race and myself? Those that have really stemmed from having challenging hair or not seeing my hair or myself in these ponytails? This is not to say that a long ponytail was my Hair Holy Grail. Rather, MY Holy Grail was big, curly, ethnic hair.
I've have understood why and how black women feel about the ownership of their hair: the politics, the maintenance, the comments, the white ponytails everywhere. For me, it's nothing new.
White women with thinning hair are getting a small whiff of an issue that is kinda politically charged. I mean, women just don't lose their hair, right? Edges? Visibly thinning areas? We're just now learning to talk about the thinning aspects, say nothing of the fact that many white women don't know much about frizz or the transition from chemicals as they try to care for the hair they have.
There's an intersection of hair, identity, politics, culture (and co-opting other cultures) and still a million ways for us to misunderstand each other and hair and how we all feel about it.
And THEN THERE'S this: TEACHER COMPLAINS ABOUT OIL IN A STUDENT'S HAIR AND SPARKS OUTRAGE.
I am white, but I don't see myself in the ultra-white stereotypes, and especially in the ponytails. And that is just how it is.