As a Chicago-native now living in Los Angeles, one of the things that makes me feel like I’m back home during this pandemic is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. I may not agree with all of her policies for my beloved former city, but sis definitely makes me chuckle as she is doing her best to encourage the residents of the Windy City to stay in the house, one hilarious skit at a time.
Take a look:
Oh, and let’s not forget the memes. Here’s one of my favorites:
She is not playing around: STAY IN THE CRIB! But for herself, as the leader of one of the biggest cities in this country, she has to be outside on the frontlines every day to give press conferences along with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and provide the city with the most recent information and news they need. Part of this responsibility also means being camera-ready, which may also mean getting one’s hair done.
GASP! QUELLE HORREUR!
Well, apparently, that little act is what has some folks in a total tizzy. See, while all the hair salons throughout the state are closed, a photo of Lightfoot stating that she got her hair done surfaced and now her critics, who are mad that they are currently stuck with their rough non-essential-looking roots and ragged ends, are lashing out.
WHY CAN SHE GET HER HAIR DONE AND NOT ME?!!!!
I THOUGHT SHE SAID WE HAVE TO STAY IN AND ISOLATE OURSELVES??!!!
SHE’S A HYPOCRITE!
(If y’all don’t cry me a river.)
According to the Chicago Tribune, “over the weekend even though barbers and stylists were shut down under the state’s stay-at-home order, saying she’s the face of the city and the woman who cut her hair wore a mask.” But Lightfoot hit back, telling a reporter, “I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.”
“I’m a person who, I take my personal hygiene very seriously. As I said, I felt like I needed to have a haircut,” she added. “I’m not able to do that myself, so I got a haircut. You want to talk more about that?”
Even my former alderman from the 35th District, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa weighed in, calling Lightfoot “a bad example.”
“She is under no obligation to look good on national TV. She is under no obligation to book national interviews. But she is under an obligation to follow and promote social distancing in order to save lives,” Ramirez-Rosa, a frequent Lightfoot critic, tweeted.
“This is a bad example for our city.”
Like…I understand if you vehemently don’t support her politics— like I said before, I don’t either—but to call a Black woman getting a haircut “a bad example” is doing way too much for way too little. Some of y’all are acting like she went to the Red Door Spa in the Loop and got a 100-carat gold facial, seaweed body wrap and threw in some acupuncture on the side. Sis, just got her hair trimmed and did so with all the precautions. It doesn’t mean she’s a hypocrite or putting herself at risk or that she’s not an effective leader in the face of this deadly crisis.
But what’s really irritating about Ramirez-Rosa’s comments is that they ignore the vast amount of pressure and double standards female politicians face when being “the face” of a major city, or really of anything. Now add being a Black woman and a lesbian and all the stereotypes around appearance and femininity that come with that, and you can see that Lightfoot is in a particularly messy predicament.
Damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t.
While Pritzker joked that he is going to end up looking like a “hippie” when this is all said and done, since he hasn’t had a haircut since the lockdown—the reality is that no one gives a damn. He’s a man, a rich white one at that, and his appearance won’t be scrutinized. And if anyone does care that he grows his hair past his shoulders and gets a Drake-looking beard, he’ll probably start trending on Twitter as Buzzfeed lauds him as “The New Zaddy We Didn’t Know We Needed In The Pandemic.”
Meanwhile, given how bad y’all have talked about Lightfoot’s ill-fitting suits on social media, let her fro get “too nappy” for y’all’s liking, and she will become another meme—and not one that that is laughing with her, but at her.
In the end, all Lightfoot is trying to do as the city’s first Black female mayor is to save lives, while holding on to some pride and dignity doing it. But y’all don’t care, because this isn’t about that; this petty backlash continues to prove how far some folks will go to undermine sistas in power. Now if only some of these haters could wash their hands and the backs of their legs with the same fervor.