In today’s episode of Colonizers Haven’t Quite Columbused Everything Yet…Or Have They?, mainstream media can’t seem to get enough of the innovative and completely original hairdo of NFL tight end Travis Kelce, aka Talyor Swift’s new boo.
If it looks familiar to you as a Black person, that’s because it’s literally just a fade. They’re crediting him with creating the fade, y’all.
According to the New York Times, Jeffrey Dugas, a barber at Obsidian Barbers in New Brunswick, Canada, his customers are lining up to get a fresh cut to look like Kelce and only Kelce because Kelce is definitely the only one who has ever done it.
“They usually come in with a picture of him,” Dugas said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know who that is.’”
And what is it exactly? Because unless our collective Black eyes are deceiving us—Travis Kelce is just sporting a damn fade.
Look, man, white journalists are already out here crediting Swift for popularizing “Swag Surf”, and Shannon Sharpe has already disappointed Black America by getting off the Black hype train from his viral Katt Williams interview just to turn around and say with his whole chest that “Beyoncé ain’t moving the needle” like Swift, who he then compared to Michael Jackson.
It’s been a long week of white and white-adjacent nonsense, y’all, the last thing we needed was for Kelce to get credited for setting the trend on a new hairstyle that just so happens to be the same style Black men have been wearing since at least the late ’80s.
It is now 2024, and the same serial gentrifying whiteness that abracadabraed Black women’s cornrows into Kim Kardashian’s “boxer braids” is still swarming over Black styles and trends like (culture) vultures circling their prey. What’s next, some goofy white fashion “journalist” is going to write, “What her half-sister Kim Kardashian West did for booty, Jenner has done for full lips?”
White people tend to get in their feelings when Black people talk about cultural appropriation and how it does harm, but this is exactly the kind of erasure that keeps us beating that same drum. Kelce adopts a 30-some-odd-year-old common Black hairstyle, and all of a sudden white hairdressers are talking about the fade with fresh tutorials for white people who refuse to act their age and texture.
From the Times:
While barbers are excited their clients feel passionate about a particular style, some worry not everyone can actually pull this look off.
“Every canvas can’t take every type of hair,” said Nigel Miller, a barber at Fresh Avenue Grooming and Style in Birmingham, Ala. “The Travis Kelce haircut looks good on more square-type head shapes and people with stronger jaws.”
It’s also a haircut that can really change someone’s look. “People who come in and get it, a lot of times they have long, straight hair, and it’s a drastic transformation,” Mr. Miller added. Fortunately, so far everyone he has given the cut to has liked it. “If they didn’t, they didn’t tell me to my face.”
“Square-type head?” “Stronger Jaws?” “Every canvas can’t take every type of hair?” Bruh, JUST SAY IT WAS CREATED FOR BLACK PEOPLE, NOT THE BLACK CULTURE-LOVING WHITES!”
This isn’t to say that white men can’t pull the look off. It looks OK on Kelce, I guess. But white writers and influencers are going to stop playing around in Black people’s faces and giving white people the gatekeeper keys to our culture, which are obviously not theirs to give.
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