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26 August 2009 @ 03:51 pm
This is why we still need FOC_U  
I stumbled across this post in spock_uhura where afro_dyte  made a post about reboot Uhura's hair.

"Yeah, I'm goin' there. So if you want to pretend that Uhura's hair is naturally that straight, please skip this post."

"I love me some Uhura. She and I are totally RL and fiction twins of each other. But there is one thing about Uhura's portrayal that is a little . . . off.

Note - Edited since this seems to be the bone of contention that completely negates everything I say and adds a hell of a lot more that I didn't actually say.

She has straight hair.

Black women will understand what I mean. But let me put it in a concise context. When I want to measure how far we've come racially, I look at how they let Black women wear their hair. If they need to have White women's hair to be considered attractive or professional - not a good sign. Now if Uhura wears cornrows or microbraids in the sequel(s), it'd be OK since we're presented various options for how Black women could make themselves beautiful.

Granted, this is the future, so maybe they come a long way from lye-based relaxers that leave chemical burns in your scalp. Maybe you can wash it out when you get tired of it instead of having to cut off everything at the motherfucking nub. Maybe Black women won't have to take a day off from work to get her hair done properly (IOW - done in a way that won't make it eventually fall out). Maybe Starfleet regulations don't forbid cornrows, dredlocks, afros, or African-style braids.

But I'm not all about pointing out problems and not offering solutions. Here's something really simple this fandom can do to honor Uhura's Black womanhood that I haven't seen happen at all so far: Make note of Uhura's hairstyle. Hell, I'm probably gonna do a drabble about it."

Needless to say, this did not go over well with a large percentage of the community.

Its just hair and then again its sci-fi hollywood hair with no relation to everyday life.

Zoe is Latina, not black.

I thought she was Dominican?

Zoe Saldana has always worn her hair straight. She's got all kinds of exotic blood (too tired to name them all).

A black's woman hair by NO MEANS define who she is or how society perceives her, whether she is wearing her hair in natural or not.

Well, it could be that the "ethic lines" have been blurred so much in the future. Maybe her hair is just bone straight. *shrug*

i just took the ponytail and straight hair to reflect uhuras professionalism.

God just because someone has a different skin colour than the normal doesn't mean they can't EMBRACE different hairstyles. I like braided hair but wtf girl this is just weird.


I would love to say that I'm black -- which I am -- but I feel like it's become a requirement to state that in order to not be slaughtered by the OP and her attack dogs.


witchsistah  breaks it down on the 3rd page:

It wouldn't be such an issue if there were more Black women of ALL hues, features and hair textures and lengths routinely portrayed as beautiful, desirable, romanitically viable as well as intelligent and professionally capable (and I mean more than a 0.05 second cameo of napptural sistahs that you'd miss if you sneezed). But that's not the way it is in American media. Approximation to Whiteness is still deemed to be the measure of desirability. Speculative fiction is supposed to push if not break these boundaries. And such a universe as is Trek where these distinctions are no longer socially viable one would think that there'd be as many Black women who'd wear their own kinky coils just as proudly as a bone straight ponytail. This is not about some arbitrary measure of Negritude via hair or anything else. This is about negation via invisibility. Nor is this about calculating the suppossed Negritude of the actress or of the character. It'd just be nice for a fuckin' change if a Black woman with sub-Saharan, West African features was shown as being unproblematically desirable and romantically viable and attractive for a gotdayum change!


We were also blessed with great caps  of black women on the Enterprise (as well as black Vulcans and other POC).

On a personal note, like most black women, my hair changes with age, the season, the temperature, etc. It has gone from straight to nappy to curly and at this point, I simply wear my hair in braids. Hair is an important issue when it comes to black women, particularly because it has been used by Hollywood and the media and average people to tell what kind of "black" woman a woman  is at first glance. (i.e. Straight or slightly wavy = professional, sexy, approachable, but nappy/short, bantu knots or braids = "fight the power", aggressive, Earthy).

 
 
 
Future Diplomatart_house_queen on August 26th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
GOD, I love those caps of the black women, seriously. THANK YOU.

Also, my blood pressure rose after reading some of those threads...you owe me an aspirin; I might have a heart attack. :/
KMDkeeni84 on August 26th, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
Several times I had to stop reading and just sit back. I wish I was around when this post first hit.
Neo_Prodigy: Pro Iconneo_prodigy on August 26th, 2009 10:28 am (UTC)
So THIS is why I was getting all those membership requests today? LOL!

Edited at 2009-08-26 02:31 pm (UTC)
Tanya D.tanyad on August 26th, 2009 06:13 am (UTC)
I think I've fallen head over heels for witchsistah for that commentary.

I'm still shaking my head over that post and its omg wtf are you on about? I don't get it fail.
Nishaadantamystic on August 26th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
So Ditto. I <3 witchsistah for expressing this so perfectly.
A shemaleshemale on August 26th, 2009 08:10 am (UTC)
oh for fuck's sake, latin@s don't just come in one color.

that shit drives me crazy--in the dumbass comments you quoted here, and in the one comment saying "Dominicans are black Latinos." well, uh, no, most Dominicans identify themselves as being of mixed heritage, and more Dominicans identify as white than as black--and hasn't this person ever heard of el jefe (or, as junot diaz refers to him, "the closest thing to a reign of Sauron in the western hemisphere")? that's thirty years of a dictator who tried his hardest to lighten/whiten up the population by trying to get as many white immigrants as possible, not letting any haitians immigrate, detaining and/or disappearing people with dark skin, or just massacring people in cane fields.

saying that everyone in the dominican republic is black ignores the institutional racism by denying that there is an oppressive racial class there as much as saying "everyone in argentina is white" ignores the racism there by denying that there are people of color who experience it in that country.

/rant
A shemaleshemale on August 26th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC)
also, lol @ "all kinds of exotic blood," wtf
witchsistahwitchsistah on August 26th, 2009 08:17 am (UTC)
That whole thread basically broke down into a minority of folks basically arguing what I said above and a bunch of folks eagerly defending light-skinned privilege. Many of the PoC arguing for light-skinned privilege possessed the desired more Euro features, including an East African woman who would not acknowledge how those features are valued over West African ones. Basically, I felt, they were using their phenotypic background ingenuously.

In MY Trekiverse a sistah can be blue-black, have dark brown eyes, prominent cheekbones, thick lips and a wide nose with an Alek Wek crop and an hourglass figure and still make dudes walk into fixed objects as they pass her and have Kirk's flagpole at full mast just as much as some willowy blue-eyed blonde with hair down to her butt. And the both of them walking down the hall together would make men and women catatonic with desire. That's what I thought the Trekiverse was SUPPOSED to be like. But I guess it's the same ol' racio-misogynistic hierarchy with Black women with sub-Saharan, West African features firmly at the bottom of the totem pole.
It's a Good Dayrecumbentgoat on August 26th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
christ that was a trainwreck. smh
the Soozfurikku on August 26th, 2009 09:51 am (UTC)
*headdesk*

Ugh. GUYS SCIFI IS SO OPEN-MINDED, AMIRITE?
Neo_Prodigy: Pro Iconneo_prodigy on August 26th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
Hence the epic irony that is RaceFail.
KMDkeeni84 on August 26th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
I love how someone actually referenced RaceFail to, as in, "OMG, it's just hair! Get over it! This is just like RaceFail!!!!"

*headdesk*
Neo_Prodigy: Stormneo_prodigy on August 27th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
And because you know this video is required:

KMDkeeni84 on August 29th, 2009 02:17 am (UTC)
A+!