Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mariah sings "Hero" to Pres. Obama

Obama Cult of Personality 3: Happy, Determined?

I have seen so many new Obama-related tchochtkes that I cannot begin to enumerate them all, soap on a rope, rings, watches, dildos (You can exclaim as you climax: yes he can, change has come!), you name it.

But the Chia Pet, that icon of 1970s sold on TV novelty gifts, never entered even my imagination as a possibility. Available on Amazon (see link below) for only $20, it comes in HAPPY and DETERMINED versions. 

I am not sure how I feel about the hair, however. The retro natural short Afro evoked by the freely-growing sprouts recalls the bigger hair of his youth, in contrast to the closely cropped style he rocks today. But somehow this makes me uneasy, because of the racialized characteristics of hair and its representations. Yet the hair lends itself to this type of growing sculpture more than the face, so it makes sense. Am I over-analyzing this? That is what I get paid to do! 

And anyway, I have spent years of my life obsessing on my own hair, first thanks to my female family members' fixation with its texture and how to "tame" it, what to "do" with it, then later years of arguing with people at beauty salons that did not "get" it. Thank goodness my current hairdresser does, she compares it to "a cross between Chinese hair and Black hair." Exactly.