Book Review: 3 Reasons to Read "You Can't Touch My Hair"
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I recently read and listened to on Audible You Can't Touch My Hair and Other Things I Still Have to Explain, a hilarious yet poignant memoir by Phoebe Robinson. If you're not familiar with Phoebe, you need to be. She is a comedian, actress and host of two podcasts, So Many White Guys and 2 Dope Queens, which she co-hosts with Jessica Williams, former correspondent of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Now, Phoebe adds the title writer to her resume.
In this collection of essays, Phoebe tackles the tough subjects of feminism, race and black hair, in addition to her dating life and love of U2 with humor and seriousness, in equal parts. There are several essays in the book that deeply resonated with me; primarily because Phoebe vividly describes situations I've also experienced. Here are my favorite parts of the book, which interestingly enough, also serve as reasons why you need to read it...
Phoebe reminds us why black hair is iconic.
Hair is the most important part of a woman's personal style. And for black women, it represents more than just style. Black hair for black women is how we showcase our beauty and uniqueness, it's versatility and our originality.
As a young girl, my hair journey was tumultuous. I hated braids, press and curls and longed for hair like white actresses I saw on TV. But the more I saw iconic black women on television and in movies the more I appreciated the beauty of my hair.
What stood out most to me in the black hair essay is the affect black celebrities have had on hair trends in our community. From Angela Davis' Afro, Janet Jackson's iconic Poetic Justice box braids, Halle Berry's pixie cut to Lupita Nyongo's low cut fade, female celebrities have help to popularize our uniqueness which has thankfully led to a greater appreciation of the black woman's beauty in its original and unaltered state. When Janet Jackson wore those chunky box braids in Poetic Justice, I was in awe of how beautiful she looked on screen. A week later, I had the same braids; I wore it proudly because I knew that I looked as cute as Ms. Jackson did.
Black women's experiences are universal.
On some level, we ladies, irrespective of our skin color, share the same experiences. We have to deal with men who disrespect us or our opinions, whether online or in person. We deal with the challenges of remaining confident while being bombarded by societal demands and imagery pushing us to adhere to beauty norms. Collectively, woman are underpaid, underutilized and undervalued in many societies around the world. While the book focuses on how black woman navigate these situations, upon finishing these chapters I realized that these are situations women of all nationalities can relate to.
Dating, pop culture references and the objectification of men...Hahaha!
What I really appreciate knowing about Phoebe is she respects the hotness of Michael B. Jordan. And just like me, she's not afraid to objectify him. Uh, if you don't know who Michael B. Jordan is, check out his IMBD. Honey, just type his name into Google, click on the images tab and be prepare to salivate over his handsomeness. That man is gorgeousness personified.
Phoebe also shares, in great detail, her lust for U2, Michael Fassbender and just about every actor and athlete named Michael. If you grew up in the 90's or 2000's, you'll appreciate the pop culture references to that era. I don't quite understand her U2 lust but I'm totally down with objectify Michael B. Jordan. That is something I'm always here for.
This book is a healthy dose of humor and seriousness; a combination that is needed when discussing the sensitive subjects addressed in You Can't Touch My Hair. I enjoyed listening to the book more that reading it, probably because I'm used to listening to her podcasts and listening to the book on Audible just felt like an extension of it.
If you want you're own version of the book, click the link above to purchase it at my Amazon store. Or go to audible and listen to it for free. I promise you will literally laugh out loud.
Next month, I'll be reviewing Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes.
What are you currently reading? Share your reading list in the comments below.
Image from CreateHerStock