Racist Rancic: Xenophobia in the Media

Jessica Udeh, Opinions Writer

Giuliana Rancic must like the taste of her shoe because on an Oscar edition of E! News’ Fashion Police, she put her entire foot in her mouth. 18 year old Zendaya Coleman, known simply as Zendaya, sported faux locs on the red carpet for the 87th annual Academy Awards. As tasteful as Zendaya looked, her elegance still couldn’t prevent the ignorant comments of others. E! News correspondent Giuliana Rancic said Zendaya looked as if she smelled of “patchouli oil and weed” because of her choice of hairstyle.
She then continued to make matters worse with her sorry excuse for an apology “Dear @Zendaya, I’m sorry I offended you and others. I was referring to a bohemian chic look. Had NOTHING to do with race and NEVER would!!!” said Rancic.
Hmm, let’s open up Webster’s, shall we? – Bohemian: adj. having informal and unconventional social habits.
So now her appearance was “informal” and “unconventional”? Better luck next time, Giuliana.
Instances similar to this have been occurring for quite some time now. Last July, when singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, Ciara Harris, rocked faux locs, she also received media backlash. This backlash was received from the same media that just recently praised Kylie Jenner for wearing dread locs, saying she started a “new trend” while sporting an “edgy new do.” Dread locs aren’t a new thing, they’re part of a culture, a culture that the people of its origin are ridiculed for, while these same exact aspects are praised on non-people of color.
American actress, singer and model, Zoë Kravitz, spoke on the issue. “Black women have been wearing their hair like this forever and I think it’s really sad that it’s even a conversation that we all need to be having.”
“I don’t know if we’re all supposed to have short hair or straight hair…this is the way we are.”
“I think it’s just about Black women being able to be who they are and people are getting that or not getting that,”
“But I don’t think we should have to change the way we look at all depending on what’s in fashion.” said Kravitz.
The idea of Eurocentrism is dangerous, and as media continues to try and assimilate people of color by policing our appearance and belittling our culture, it only further diminishes the beauty and radiance that exists within it.