The Pam Oliver Hair Controversy

Even if you’re not a football fan, I’m sure you’ve heard about NFL reporter Pam Oliver and her “jacked up weave”, right?

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Fox reporter Pam Oliver has been viciously berated on social media about her hair. She was a trending topic on Twitter and people compared her hair to “Star War’s” Chewbacca, a dirty mop among other things. Although her hair has taken center stage, she’s extremely educated and accomplished. She graduated from Florida A&M and worked her way up in a male-dominated field to become a popular reporter for the NFL.

What a lot of people don’t know is that most newscasters are responsible for their own hair and makeup.  She’s outside in the elements, reporting on a fast-paced football game, of course her hair doesn’t look perfect 100% of the time. But, I’ll admit it. I had the same reaction as everyone else. The first time I saw her on TV, the first thing I noticed was her hair. It was so distracting that I didn’t even hear what she said. Then, the memes started…

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Just because she doesn’t look photo shoot ready like we’ve come to expect of all celebrities, on air personalities and of each other (at times), doesn’t mean people should mercilessly ridicule her.

Instead of laughing, why doesn’t someone offer to help her out? Why put her down and create so much negative media buzz that it’s what she becomes known for instead of her actual job…reporting? Personally, I think the anonymity of the social media culture is to blame for the “controversy”. There’s really nothing to discuss besides if she does her job well and if she looks, sounds and acts professionally. Which she does. Although she doesn’t have a Hollywood-style weave and there is room for improvement (just like there is for everyone), doesn’t mean people should tear her down. AND to add insult to injury most of the people talking mess are black women! This is our problem. We tear each other down and invite people on the ‘outside’ to watch. It makes us all look bad when we tear down one of our own. If a sista needs help, pull her aside and help her. Don’t publicly ridicule and shame her. The problem is that we (myself included) get caught up in the buzz and we don’t stop to think about how our comments are perceived. My intention isn’t to indite black women because we (women of all colors) do it. But we need to be more aware of how our words, comments and social media posts impact others. I always think about about the comments I make on social media, but this “controversy” taught me to be even more careful before posting something.

When Pam was asked about her response to all of the manufactured controversy she said, “Usually, the most important thing to me is getting my information and getting it right and hoping that everything else is going well with the hair and what little makeup I have left and go from there,” she explained. “I’m a little focused on what I’m doing. Maybe too much for people’s liking.”

Pam Oliver, I congratulate you on all of your professional accomplishments. Keep doing your thing.

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