Author Chimamanda Adichie: If Michelle Obama had natural hair, [Barack Obama] would not have won

Chimamanda Adichie: If Michelle Obama Wore Natural Hair, The President Would Have Lost in 2008

In a Britain’s Channel 4 News interviewNigerian-American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says that Michelle Obama could have cost President Obama the presidency if she wore natural hair. This isn’t the first time she’s made this comment as mentioned below.

The author feels the stigmas and negative stereotypes may be too much for the people to accept. She may be right. First Lady Michelle Obama was pictured as a militant black panther fist bumping on the cover of The New Yorker in 2008.

In the clip from the 30-minute interview, the 38-year-old says that the first lady’s natural hair would prevent Sen. Barack Obama from being elected president in 2008.

“I’ve often said that if Michelle Obama had natural hair when Barack Obama was running for president, he would not have won,” Adichie explains. “Because her natural hair would have signified certain things to people and they would be negative.

It would signify that she’s some sort of militant, neo- Black Panther, frightening angry… angry in a bad way because of course talking about gender, in some ways women. Particular in black women, so angry in a black woman is something that’s a no-no.

And I think it also signifies she’s not mainstream because we’ve decided that mainstream hair is hair that sort of falls down. When you have hair that’s natural and black it stands up and it’s not really considered mainstream.

She continues, “I don’t want to be complacent to all becaus I open a magazine now and there’s maybe one black woman who has natural hair. It’s changing a little bit, but what I would love is to not have to be something remarkable. It would be lovely if it were just normal. It would be lovely if we didn’t have to point it out; one well, look there’s the one person with natural hair, isn’t that cool? Because in the end you want to be ordinary and normal.

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Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments section below


3 thoughts on “Author Chimamanda Adichie: If Michelle Obama had natural hair, [Barack Obama] would not have won

  1. Eva

    Why do women like that want to guilt other women who make the choice to keep their gair straight into keeping it natural? Maybe they have beautiful natural hair, some of us just don’t so we use other things to maje ut decent, nothimg wrong with that in my opinion. I think Obama won because he’s a smart black man and we shouldn’t undermine that. And again, why is she wearing that dress?

  2. Lisa

    I agree with the author. An afro is appropriate for a ’70’s theme party but not the New Yorker or certainly not Time magazine. We are making progress because there are so many in the entertainment industry going natural. I think in time more women of color will embrace natural hair and eventually it will be more “normal”.

  3. Marcia Headley

    Why shouldn’t it be ok for white people to wear corn row? As a black woman I don’t care what hair they wear. We wear the hair of another person all the time when we wear the wigs and extensions and no one complains. I see us in blond hair and hair that you’d only ever see on a white woman. We need to be thinking of more immediate and important things that are affecting our communities and pitting us against each other.


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