Last summer Twitter took a vicious turn with comments on the state of Olympic Gold medal winner Gabby Douglas's hair. The first African-American woman to take home the gold for gymnastics could barely bask in the glory of her win as she dodged focus on the look of her tresses.
Now Twitter is at again, and this time victim is much younger and even less equipped to fight back against the mean-spirited attacks against her physical appearance. Blue Ivy, the daughter of superstars Jay-Z and Beyoncé made a rare, very public appearance this past weekend at lunch with her parents. While the child is perfectly adorable, she’d clearly spent the day out and about playing. As a result, her massive head of curls were scattered all over her head. The child instantly became the butt of Internet jokes and tweets.
Instead of acknowledging that this is the normal look of children, particular African-American children with varied hair textures like Blue Ivy’s, many (mostly African Americans) began to tweet insulting comments about the barely 1-year-old's physical appearance. As if the toddler had her own personal hairstylist at her beck and call after each play date. A few comments read:
“When will she [Beyoncé] do her hair?”
“Blue Ivy is so cute…they just need to do her hair.’’
Another stated: “Blue Ivy looks like she just got thrown out of the club.’’
Is there any wonder why Michael Jackson insisted his kids wear masks when they were out in public? He seemed to understand well before the invention of social media just how cruel and judgmental the press and the public could be toward those in the spotlight, even innocent babies with no choice in the matter. Beyonce and Jay-Z made the conscious decision not to show their daughter’s face for the first year of her life. I always thought that was a rather smart choice, along with never releasing their wedding photos for public consumption, or selling Blue Ivy’s photos to a magazine for profit. For some reason they relented on showing Blue Ivy’s face as a part of Beyoncé’s HBO special earlier this year, and I can’t help but imagine they’re second-guessing themselves right now. HBO may have insisted Blue Ivy be a part of the project since it was supposed to be an intimate look into the singer’s life. Some things aren’t worth the cost. As adults we know we must to take our hard hits the best we can and move on. Our 1-year-olds shouldn’t have to.