Jerrika Hinton Discusses “Profoundly Insulting” Reaction to Her Hair Transformation
Since Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) started dating on Grey’s Anatomy, Stephanie’s undergone a serious makeover — we’re talking hair, wardrobe, and even eye surgery to get rid of her glasses. Compared to the intern we met in Season 9, she’s practically a whole new woman.
But Jerrika’s less than impressed with the way she’s been received after her hair’s made its transformation from curly to straight — and recently, she wrote a blog for The Huffington Post to explain why.
“My inaugural year on Grey's Anatomy was defined by two points: my character's boyfriend and the episode when said relationship began,” Jerrika wrote. “For the audience, the episode is noteworthy because it features a classic spectacles-to-contacts, curly-to-straight transformation.”
“For myself,” Jerrika continued, “it's noteworthy because, even after Carol's Daughter in Sephora, I Am Not My Hair on Billboard's Hot 100, and decades of mop-headed kids in GAP commercials, the public still goes bats—t over bone-straight hair on a black woman.”
And while every reaction she got when someone saw her new look for the first time was a positive one, to Jerrika, they weren’t compliments — they were reminders that they viewed the way she looked before as inferior to the way she looks now.
“After the episode aired, the praise I received from strangers, friends and even my own family was staggering,” Jerrika said. “I suddenly had mass-appeal and the undertone was clear: with a single blow-dry, I had arrived.”
“What was intended as flattery was profoundly insulting and it hurt me deeply to realize my natural form wasn't considered feminine or desirable,” she added.
We totally don’t blame her — who wants to be told they way they look naturally is nothing compared to how they look with the help of Hollywood stylists?
And hopefully, Jerrika can turn her negative experience into a chance to help girls like her in the future.
“I want her to feel validated by more than a mass of hair,” she said of girls with natural hair like hers. “I want her to feel whole.”
Source: The Huffington Post