Poor Pam Oliver. One unfortunate hairdo and suddenly she’s being compared to Star Wars’ Chewbacca and trending on Twitter and with comments like these: “Did Pam get electrocuted?” and “Does #PamOliver have a damn mop on her head? She fell off like big mac toppings...NFLonFox.” I could share more but I won’t. It’s too ugly. And, no, I’m not talking about Oliver, who’s a veteran in sports broadcasting. She’s gorgeous and I give her mad props for being a survivor in a tough business. I’m referring to the self-appointed members of the black hair police who monitor other people’s hair.
These flat-iron enforcers pop up from time to time. In 2012, instead of praising Gabby Douglas’remarkable athletic achievements at the Olympics, they zeroed in on her hair as if that should have been the final arbiter of whether or not the teenager was worthy of her two gold medals. The “controversy” made headlines around the world. Luckily for the pint-sized gymnasts, the judges were more interested in her incredible gymnastic abilities than in whether she’d recently had her butt in a stylist’s chair. Now, the hair police have fixated on Oliver – when they’re not looking side-eyed at the hair on Beyonce’s tot, Blue Ivy who’s only 2! (Leave her alone already!)
Look, I know black hair is a touchy topic of debate for many African Americans, but from the way certain people are carrying on about Oliver on social media, you’d think she’d committed a crime other than daring to show her face on TV looking less than picture perfect. She’s not a movie star. She’s a sidelines reporter. The wind blows. It’s hard to keep every strand in place, especially if you don't get to sit in a nice cozy booth like the males who host these games. Oliver was on her feet working. Besides, who has never had a bad hair day?Let she who's never looked whack, toss the first curling iron.
The armchair critics need to relax. They would never go in on a man like that. She’s being held to a different standard. It’s so unfair. Oliver and her long, auburn tresses will bounce back faster than you can say, “blow dry and curl.” By the Super Bowl, Oliver will be back on her game, as they say. She’d better be because the hair police will be lying in wait, claws bared and ready to pounce.