Ousted News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks stands accused of violating some of society's most cherished morals and values. And yes, we're talking about her hair.
Or at least, Robin Givhan is. In the Daily Beast, she writes,
Brooks arrived for her questioning dressed soberly in navy with a demure little heart-shaped charm dangling from a necklace. Her hair hung thick and loose below her shoulders like a dense tangle of vines. It was free and unruly; it was hair that had been released from any need to be controlled and tidy.
But it's just hair, right? Yeah, totally:
It's always risky to attach politics, social status, or cultural affinity to a hairstyle-to endow it with too much meaning. Surely the many debates and lawsuits stemming from disagreements over cornrows, Afros, and dreadlocks have driven home this lesson.
Except not! Givhan asks, "in such a serious situation as an interrogation by Parliament, why risk being misread, mischaracterized, or misunderstood?" Why indeed? Fear not, Givhan has ideas:
Perhaps she found some reassurance in knowing that the familiar red cloud would hover around her face as always. Perhaps her hair provides a certain sense of protection.
Or maybe, unlike Givhan, she doesn't think her 'do makes her look like an egomaniacal weirdo. Maybe she's actually taken some time to think about all the stereotypes about curly hair (that it's unkempt, crazy, dirty, wild), and she's correctly concluded that they're absurd and discriminatory. Maybe she doesn't think being a redhead automatically makes you "jaunty." Maybe she didn't want to change her hairstyle abruptly right before this week's hearing because that would look weird and draw attention. Maybe she just likes it that way, which is not, as Givhan claims, equivalent to stating, "stare at me, remember me. Me, me, me." Or maybe, just maybe, she's at the center of a scandal at one of the biggest companies in the world, and she has more important things to think about than hair.
Rebekah Brooks' Distracting 'Do [Daily Beast]