I admire Maria Shriver – let’s start there. While I’m not sure why she had to stop doing broadcast media when she became the First Lady of California, I knew that she would make her own path in that capacity even though the title of First Lady rubbed my feminist sensibilities the wrong way. She took all of that energy and star power and redirected it to help families in her state with a call to community service. The Women’s Conference she leads gives women’s issue an important platform. And this week she is a special correspondent to NBC about women called a Woman’s Nation. I also have to say that when I sent her our Read It! Play It! book, I got a beautiful letter from her which meant a great deal to me.
So this morning I was looking forward to watching Maria as she kicked off her week long series with an appearance on Meet the Press. And as hard I was trying to listen to her–I got completely transfixed by her hair. Her hair is extremely long, has gotten lighter (seriously beautiful highlights) and just big loopy curls on a substantial mane that was positioned on both sides of her chest. My husband, not big on such comments, said without prompt–“What’s with the hair?”
The big “fantasy” hair just doesn’t match with the serious message and discussion Maria is hoping we’ll have as a nation. Maria is not alone. Her friend Oprah Winfrey is also wearing her hair very long with bouncy curls. Oprah made the point of establishing that her long locks are her’s and not a weave or a wig. She acknowledges that her hair is possible because of the staff of professionals that work on her hair for her show. To her credit, she showed a picture of what her hair looks like beforehand. Oprah’s show on hair was inspired by Chris Rock’s documentary on Good Hair.
When I turned 40 I cut my hair relatively short–thinking this is what older women do. I didn’t want to look silly with long hair. Of course almost as soon as I cut my hair, I realized that this was a carry over from another generation. I was making myself look older than I needed to (or felt) and I started growing it out almost at once. Although I haven’t gone blond yet, I do spend a ridiculous sum of money making sure it has all the color and luster that I remember it having when I was about 12.
If 50 is the new 30, I guess Maria and Oprah are just fine with their long locks. I just wonder if anyone else was distracted by them?