Whether she’s jamming french fries up her nostrils in her 2018 music video “MOOO!” or covered head to toe in galactic pink dye meant to entice any space traveler within a five-mile radius, Doja Cat has always been authentically herself — and this extends to her style.
The 26-year-old has been red…
…and sometimes you can’t even see her hair because it’s been covered by a multi-colored slug getup bedazzled with jewels.
But most recently, it was the singer’s decision to shave her head that has the internet in razor-hating shambles.
At the time, Doja told fans on Instagram Live, “I feel like I was never supposed to have hair anyway. I, like, don’t like having hair…I never liked having hair. I cannot tell you one time, since the beginning of my life, that I’ve ever been like, ‘This is cool.’ I just do not like to have hair.”
And ever since then, commenters have been expressing concern (?) for the “Say So” singer’s wellbeing. “In all seriousness, this is a cry for help,” one user wrote in the comment section of Doja Cat’s Instagram Live. “You need help, bb,” another chimed in, while dozens of “Are you ok?” questions filed in.
Annoyed that cutting her hair was being viewed as a mental breakdown, Doja responded, saying, “Everybody being like ‘you’re on drugs,’ and ‘you’re crazy’ … and ‘you need help,’ ‘seek help’ — that stuff is so…it’s really heavy.”
“It’s like the second that I get to feeling like I’m free and I feel cool, motherfuckers are like, ‘You’re not good, you’re not OK,'” she continued. “But I’m chill. If you really have love for me and you really are concerned about me, I want you to know this isn’t a cry for help or an issue of any sort. This is just me having no fucking hair.”
The fact that Ms. Cat had to announce hair is just hair should be unnecessary, but this isn’t the first time a woman’s locks were conflated with her sanity. In 2007, Britney Spears — who has since been purported as someone in the public eye who desperately wished to have some semblance of control over their own image and found a level of peace in shears — was accused of shaving her head in an attempt to cover up drug use.
Even Emma Watson faced judgement. When speaking to the Independent, she recalled, “I had journalists asking me if [cutting my hair] meant I was coming out, if I was a lesbian now,” she said. “That haircut did make me realize how subjective everyone’s opinion is. Some people were crazy for it and some people just thought I’d lost my shit. All I can do is follow my instincts, because I’ll never please everyone.”
And though I hate to bring it up for the upteenth time, even having solid medical reasoning behind a big chop won’t save you from jokes and ridicule.
For those with longer or textured hair, who among us has not considered, at some point or another, how much easier life would be if we no longer spent hours toiling away at washing, detangling, styling, and flying through expensive jars of product?
And if you, like Doja Cat, are Black, then you’ve already experienced the politics behind your hair. Whether it be an afro or natural styles that harken back to freedom fighting and the ’70s, or permed hair and straight weaves damagingly deemed as “professional” for the workplace, everything a Black woman does with their hair sends a message — whether they want it to or not — and shaving one’s head releases part of this burden.
More power to them! …Now mind ya business.