Illegally blonde

I think we need Elle woods for for this ; it’s a “hairmergency” of all sorts girl.

Recently, a black girl was fired from Hooters because she had blonde highlights. (For the full story, please follow this link to Jezebel ( )

Apparently, “black women don’t have blonde in their hair”, or so the management said when they asked her to take it out.

As I read this article, in between the twitching and the heavy sighing, I remembered the words of Elizabeth Grosz.In her essay, “Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism” Grosz commented on the ethnicity of bodies amongst other social mediators of what the body and mind agree to be within that discourse. In reiteration of Grosz’s point, Luz Mar González-Arias writes;

In “Bodies-Cities,” Elizabeth Grosz contends that neither the body nor the city can be considered two self-sufficient categories, i.e., they cannot be assumed to conform to “organically unified ecosystems” (242) linked by a casual relationship. Rather, they (re)produce each other and become mutually defining terms. And so, issues such as sexuality, age, social class, race, and ethnicity have a strong impact on the structure of the city, which in turn has a physical and emotional effect on the bodies dwelling in it, so that these bodies become “citified” (242) and, I would also argue, the cities become “embodied.” In this way, bodies and cities would have a constitutive rather than a contingent relationship. This necessarily involves an ongoing negotiation of the body’s interaction with its environment, which also has to adapt itself to the demands of the collective of bodies it shelters.”(In Dublin’s Fair City: Citified Embodiments in Paula Meehan‘s Urban Landscapes)

In this case, I believe the demand of the collective bodies can be located in the management requesting that the black woman,Ms Farryn Johnson, take out her blonde highlights.


This interestingly reminds me of AB’s post on the girlpower anthems by TLC. It reminded me of my obsession with Destiny’s child and of how I thought they were supernatural. Of course, I knew all the lyrics of their songs which includes “Nasty Girl.”

"Yous a nasty, trashy, sleazy, classless" Destiny's Child

“Yous a nasty, trashy, sleazy, classless…you make it hard for women like me who have integrity” -Destiny’s Child


The “Nasty girl” in this video is wearing a really blonde wig. Though this was not just something i noticed, I just noticed that it added to my understanding of the video; the blondness of the wig made the nasty girl look even nastier to me. In class, Professor Parham has been getting us to ask ourselves “who is to blame?”

So…who is to blame?

I feel it is reasonable for me to start off with the Nigerian structure. Growing up, I was told I could only fix black extensions. Actually, this summer, my mum and I had an argument over my red extensions because she did not think people would take me seriously. For her, blonde would even be worse. However, I don’t blame her because i can see how the structure got to her too; in Nigerian movies,(that many employers watch) the prostitutes usually have blonde extensions while the good girls keep their black hair.

At the moment, I’m still thinking this through especially since it affects us privately (with my mother not letting me put in red extensions) and publicly (with Johnson getting fired from Hooters). But, since there is a debatable distinction between public and private (whereas my mum is only scared that what happened to Johnson will happen to me) why is the structure keeping something as hair color so embedded in their ideological reproduction?

2 thoughts on “Illegally blonde

  1. This made me think of Althusser all through and I was really glad that at the end you talked about “ideological reproduction”.

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