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Zendaya Has the Perfect Response to Giuliana Rancic's Dumb Dreadlocks Comments

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On Monday night during E!'s Fashion Police Oscars special, co-host Giuliana Rancic made some dumb, insensitive comments about actress Zendaya Coleman's choice to wear faux locs to the award show. Rancic said she thought the actress' hair made her look like she smelled of patchouli oil and weed. Almost instantly, Twitter exploded with negative feedback towards the host, calling her remarks racist and tasteless. On Tuesday morning, Zendaya responded to Rancic's remarks via an open letter on Instagram

There is a fine line between what is funny and disrespectful. Someone said something about my hair at the Oscars that left me in awe. Not because I was relishing in rave outfit reviews, but because I was hit with ignorant slurs and pure disrespect. To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or "weed" is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive.

She proceeded to list accomplished scholars, actresses, singers, and authors who all wear the hairstyle and suggested the co-host educate herself before "opening your mouth".

There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough. To me locs are a symbol of strength and beauty, almost like a lion's mane.

Rancic has since issued an apology on Twitter for her offensive remarks claiming her critique "had nothing to do with race." Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Rancic's critique is only the latest example of the continuous miseducation of mainstream media and the value of African American hair. Last year, People magazine's Stylewatch section critiqued singer Ciara's faux locs for not being 'elegant' enough for her then-impending wedding to rapper Future (who also sports the hairstyle). People removed their remarks from the review but not before outrage from the public ensued.
 

Locs are traditionally associated with the African American community due to its roots in Rastafarian culture. The hairstyle can represent a symbolic bond to religion and strength, and  Bob Marley made locs a mainstream fashion trend. Marley's choice to smoke weed, however, is where mainstream culture created the identifiers of the hairstyle. But it's the media's responsibility to be accountable for their remarks, in this case, especially because Rancic praised 17-year old Kylie Jenner earlier this month on Fashion Police for the same hairstyle citing it as "edgy."

Sigh. 

See Zendaya's full response below:


A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on


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