India.Arie on Beyonce & Jay Z’s Daughter’s Hair Backlash: Why is It ‘OK to Make Fun of a Child?’
By Kevin Rutherford
A Change.org petition surfaced last week with a New York woman upset about the state of Jay Z and Beyoncé‘s daughter Blue Ivy’s hair, making a simple request: “comb her hair.” Since, the issue has divided much of the Internet — including R&B singer India.Arie, who threw herself into the toddler’s corner with a Twitlonger post.
“Why does ANYone get the idea that its [sic] ok to make fun of a child?” she asked in a post on the site, which allows users to post messages to their Twitter that are longer than its standard 140 characters. “In public no less?”
The post comes after the petition took off; when Radio.com ran a story on the post last week, it had reached 725 signatures. It has since totaled 5,194.
“This celebrity culture that hypnotizes people into thinking a person is LITERALLY NOT REAL because you see them on television is a spell the watcher HIM or HER SELF MUST BREAK,” the singer continued. “Blue Ivy — is a CHILD… and ANYONE thinking to themselves right now: “But she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth so what does it matter what I say”… Denying ANY PERSON their humanity , is a GAME we should ALL stop playing.”
She added that she believes folks would find issue with Blue Ivy’s hair no matter what — even if it was “TOO DONE,” and that “being gentle with a child’s hair is simply appropriate – this goes the same for ALL children.”
However, the comments and signatures have continued to flow in on the petition, which was created by Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Jasmine Toliver (who has since changed her name on the petition page to, simply, JT.
“I hate when a mother looks like a million dollars with their hair all done and the child looks like they haven’t seen a comb since they were born,” one wrote.
Another was more succinct: “Cruelty to children has to stop.”
It isn’t the first time the singer has made a public statement about hair. In 2006, she released “I Am Not My Hair,” a song that questioned society’s intense focus on judging and stereotyping based on, for instance, the look of one’s hair.