So what had happened was… comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Will Smith then chose to get out of his seat, walk up to Chris Rock, and slapped him in the face.
And the crowd, meaning social media and the press, went wild……
Was Chris Rock just being a comedian? Or was he being insensitive about Jada’s disease?
Some say Mr. Smith’s actions tarnished the Oscars by demonstrating what some already think about people of color. Some also think it sets a bad example for children and young people. Meanwhile, another argument says that for one to do such an atrocity at The Oscars was embarrassing for people of color. And the rebuttal to that argument says that mindset perpetuates slavemaster and slave relationships. They all may be correct and they may also have a point because Mr. Smith is a person of influence. Either way, a lesson was learned from both sides of the incident because both sides have valid arguments.
Some believe that the most important role of a husband is to protect his wife. Some may also say that previous photos from the Smiths and Mr. Rock were jovial and either posed a threat to each other. But why on more than one occasion did Mr. Rock think it was okay to use Mrs. Smith as the butt of his jokes? And we all should know how WOC feels about their hair by now in 2022.
Perhaps, others would say that the world system that rich people live and abide in is different than those of everyday citizens. For example, certain rules they follow or don’t have to follow aren’t viewed as normal behaviors or actions. And maybe arrogance and pride caused Mr. Smith to not consider where he was and follow his own rule by breaking a rule. Or maybe he was tired of Mr. Rock insulting his wife on stage and decided to slap him where he chose to insult his wife?
Some have even stated that Mr. Rock was suggesting that Mrs. Smith should be recommended for playing the role of shaved head Demi Moore in GI Jane. But Demi Moore shaved her head for a role and not because of Alopecia, which is sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may overlap.
With that being said, if Mr. Rock knew that Mrs. Smith was suffering from alopecia and decided it was okay to make a joke about her shaved head, then Mr, Smith, in his own way, let him know that it wasn’t going to be okay to embarrass his wife like that. On the other hand, if Mr. Rock didn’t know, now he knows and hopefully won’t make fun of any WOC suffering from any disease. And here’s why.
No one knows the emotional and psychological trauma it is to be in the public eye, that values beauty, and to be known for having multiple hairstyles and then have to be bald. No one knows if Mr. Smith had to deal with the trauma of his wife’s trauma as well. Overall, the incident has brought up various topics that should make us all think about how WOC are treated and should they be protected in the public eye? And by who….
Do WOC need to be protected in the public eye?
At W2WT Magazine, we believe that WOC in the public eye doesn’t mean being separated by fame. It means how WOC are seen, accepted, and or recognized separately from other races of women. We also understand that the desire to be seen and viewed in a positive manner could be part of the problem.
But because racism is still an issue in America, WOC have a different struggle when compared to other races of women in the public eye.
We started with roles like maids and servant girls. We’ve been dancers, singers, strippers, hookers, drug attics, and homewreckers. We’ve played the role of wives to our famous husbands and some of us have even been portrayed for what we’ve done and accomplished on our own. We’ve been struggling mothers with children trying to keep their heads above water in the projects. We were teamed with male counterparts as they scrambled to make theirs a happy home. We also have played the role of moving on up to the eastside in a deluxe apartment. Each role was given chosen hairstyles for the WOC that reflected our own culture at that time.
(By the way, George Jefferson and James Evans would have done the same slap because they would have been protecting their wives).
It is the makeup artists and wardrobe stylists who create the many looks of WOC. But what about our personal and independent styles of dress and hairstyles? Who will protect WOC in the public eye on and off screen in their everyday lives?
It’s not just about our hair that says WOC need to be protected in the public’s eye. It is the sway of our hips, our variety of skin tones, our thick lips, roundatious booties, It’s our assertiveness along with our aggressiveness that tends to make us stand out. When we walk into a room, it’s like the people in that same room begin to study us to find ways to imitate our natural-born characteristics, attributes, and mannerisms. There’s no protection in our category of WOC and we rarely get our props. For example, The African male and female represent the 1st family biblically, historically, and mathematically. Although some may argue against it, for the sake of this article, we believe it to be true. According to Genesis 1:27-28, we were created to rule and dominate together. When the male takes on the role of husband, his 1st role is to protect. The ambiguity about that is that it could look different based on the perspective, culture, ethnicity, and subculture aka hood.
In 1Peter 3:7 (NKJV), it says “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers won’t be hindered”, (NKJV). This doesn’t mean weaker in ruling and dominating but weaker as fragile as fine china.
How does this line of thinking coincide with WOC needing to be protected in the public eye?
It depends on what that protection looks like and who is responsible to protect WOC in the public eye. W2WT Magazine is leaning towards the ideology of WOC protecting each other 1st. We admire our husbands, fathers, brothers, and cousins for protecting us but, the saying is true when it says, “People will treat you how they see you treat yourself”. This means celebrating your sister, supporting her, and helping her. Not showing up as Petty Betty, back-biting, and killing jealousy. Repeating hurtful stories and gloating is out in the category of protecting WOC in the public eye because we were not all invited to the Oscars, Grammys, etc, but we were all represented on those platforms. In other words, if we show up in life respecting ourselves and our sisters, then we will be protecting ourselves because we’d be identifying with who we really are and were created to do. After Adam named all of the animals, God looked around and saw that nothing looked or was equal to Adam. So he put him to sleep and pulled Eve out of him, (Genesis 2:20). She was the answer to what was missing in creation.
Say This: I AM THE ANSWER
WOC, perhaps our sister Mary J Blige is on to something with ‘Good Morning Gorgeous’.
Stay Tuned for Part II