Chris Rock’s jibe at Jada Smith’s hair is not only offensive but rather a mockery of women everywhere who are facing hair loss issues. Considering how open Jada Pinkett Smith has been about alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss and can not be cured with medication. One can definitely raise questions about Will Smith’s reaction to Chris Rock’s remarks, there is another angle to this incident that is not getting the attention it deserves.
Another layer to this incident is that hair is revered in the Black community. Rock himself has made a documentary about Black hair culture, after being asked by his daughter why she does not have “good hair.” In fact, Rock himself has made a documentary about Black hair culture. Countless articles have been written on Black hair culture in the US. The importance of hair in the Black community, particularly for Black women, is an undeniable, well-documented fact.
What’s surprising is that Rock made a joke about Jada’s hair despite knowing the importance of hair for Black women. Women across all communities in the States have the freedom to wear their hair in whatever way they want, but this was not the case here. Pinkett Smith did not choose to go bald.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, the condition impacts nearly 6.8 million people in the US alone. Moreover, Jada has stated clearly and publicly that she has been trying to accept her condition after years of trying to hide it — at times being brought to tears when discussing her journey.
Rock’s comment was an insensitive scorn for all the women going through autoimmune diseases. Such ignorant and insensitive jokes aimed at Black women need to stop. Women are more than comedic forage for men looking to forward their comedy careers.