In the spirit of Halloween, let’s talk about the controversy regarding Michelle Lapidos and her afro wig. For those unfamiliar with the goings on of Ms. Lapidos, she is the young caucasian female blogging about her afro wig experience in NYC. Her blog chronicles the life of Michelle wearing her costume afro wig. I was not initially intersted in the story because quite honestly, it seemed silly but people just kept talking about it so I decided to investigate.
In her blog, Michelle sets out on a journey if you will, to discover confidence through her afro. She takes pictures of herself out and at various events with her afro. No big deal right? WRONG! Almost immediately, people (black and white) cried racism and insensitivity among other accusations at Ms. Lapidos. One reader commented, “From one white girl to another, please just stop. You are hurting people — you’re wearing their identity and culture as a costume that you can put on and take off”. On the flip side, Michelle got a shout out from Questlove of The Roots. She was even featured on NPR recently! All of this over an afro wig.
More than anything, I’m curious to know what exactly is so offensive about Ms. Lapidos’ little social experiment. Is it because she’s white and wearing an afro wig? Do people feel as if she’s poking fun at Black American culture? Or is it because something that is unique to the Black American culture is being “taken away”?
I’m not offended by Michelle’s afro adventure because I know my confidence has grown by leaps and bounds with my natural hair. Far be it from me to keep her from experiencing that kind of freedom. However, she does get major side eye for wearing the afro wig to a fried chicken festival (c’mon girl, you know better). I’m curious to know what you ladies think about before and afro. Are you offended? Why or Why Not? Sound off!!!