To Weave or not to Weave: That is the question?

Big Brothers Bit On The Side

Big Brothers Bit On The Side

While watching Channel 5’s, ‘Big Brothers Bit On The Side‘ (BBBOTS), on Friday 21st, June 2013. I noticed the banter, between the presenters AJ Odudu and Rylan Clark, turned to the subject of weave. While introducing a link to the adverts, AJ (the black female presenter) informed the audience to, “Hold on to your hats” in anticipation for more of the show, but before AJ could finish her link, Rylan, (ex X-Factor contestant), interrupted AJ, by shouting Hold on to your weave’s, as he grabbed and picked up the tail of AJ’s hair, and repeated himself. You can watch the video footage by clicking here.

At first, I found Rylan’s comment hilarious. I Instantly searched, ‘Hold on to your weave‘ on twitter, to see if anyone else noticed the banter, or found it funny too. This is a sample of what I found below;


Trending Topic ‘Hold On To Your Weave’

After reflecting on what I witnessed on Channel 5, I questioned the implications of Rylan’s comment and actions. I wondered how many people across Britain also judged AJ’s weave as fake-looking and over the top. AJ is the first black presenter of Big Brother, and is finding her way regardless of critical opinions. Rylan’s remark on AJ’s hair highlights how commonplace weaves have become in Britain.

On the other hand, simular to the @IamYemiThomps tweet, people may question the motive behind Rylan’s banter, and weave grabbing. Was Rylan trying to be funny?, or just being outrageously rude? After reading ‘4 Reasons Why,Actually, You Cannot Touch My Hair‘ posted by Disrupting Dinner Parties. I pondered if weave touching was going to become a pandemic across Britain, like the groups of flash-mob dance troops did in 2012.

Weaves are popular among all ethnic groups, but there is proof that black woman spend more time, and money on weaves, than any other ethnic group of women worldwide. In 2009, comedian Chris Rock produced the film, ‘Good Hair‘ which examined the multibillion dollar, black hair industry, and the ramifications of weave on black identity. You can watch the ‘Good Hair’ tailor below:

The major issue that most people have, with the concept of weave, is what it covers up! If women cover their hair, because they lack the self-confidence, to show their natural hair, then that is a sad thing. Wearing a weave is down to the choice of the person wearing it, whether its for medical reasons or vanity purposes nobody else has the right to judge.

My issue is media representations of black hair. There seems to be an over abundance of black women wearing weaves in the global media. Although Europeans also wear extensions and wigs, there is more of a healthy balance of European women with natural hair in the media compared to black women. Black British news reporters, presenters and other professional woman, predominantly wear weaves. What message does this send, to black men, and non-black people?

Chris Rock-Good Hair

Chris Rock-Good Hair

The more, the mass media, continue to perpetrate, images of black women, with long luscious weaves. The more insecure, black girls, and black women, will feel about, styling their hair, into natural hairstyle’s: and not fitting in to societies ‘norm’. I think it is down to black women to take control of their own image, and to reject the ideal conception of what ‘good‘ black hair looks like.

We no longer live in the times of transatlantic slavery, where Africans, were forced to conform, to the dresscodes of their masters jurisdiction: in comparison to European cultural norms! The beauty, or quality of black hair, should not be determined by its length, and color, but by its natural qualities: no matter what they are! Black women, need to be allowed, to reclaim the natural state, of their hair themselves: because nobody else, can make natural black hairstyles, look sexy, apart from black women.

Watching the ‘BBBOTS’ video clip, it is hard to tell, if the scenario was set up for ‘entertainment,‘ or if the ‘Hold on to your weave’ remark was a spontaneous idea of Rylan Clark. If AJ did feel uncomfortable about the comment, she should have responded directly to Rylan. Maybe AJ should consider, switching-up to a natural hairstyle, every now and then: to show the world, that she is not bothered, about wearing her real hair. It is down to personalities in the public eye, like AJ, to take the lead and be counted.

AJ Odudu


If AJ, doesn’t have a problem with Rylan, touching her weave. Then she should not have a problem, with not wearing her fake hair, for one week on the BBBOTS show. AJ’s constant weave wearing calls into question the role her weave played in getting her the job as the first black presenter of ‘BBBOTS‘. Would Channel 5 Producers have allowed AJ to present on television with an Afro?

If you think you know the answer to this question: or you just want to express your opinion on weave, please leave your response, in the comments section below. If you are too shy to leave a comment you can vote in the opinion poll instead.

Thank you.

    • Dee
    • June 26th, 2013

    To weave ALL the way!!! As a hair stylist I can say from experience that not every black woman wears a weave to compensate for bad hair and despite weave being highly worn by black women, Caucasian and Asian women do also add weave to their hair for versatility! Anyways to each his own! For me it’s to weave!!! As to whether her weave having a role to her getting her job, well same question goes to whether Rylan being homosexual has opened ‘doors’ for him too. Love your blog! Keep it up!!

  1. I really do not like the idea of you categorically saying black presenter, a presenter is a presenter! and am sure she got the job on merit and good job ethic and not because of what hair shes wearing! some years ago no one looked at solange but today all the fashion and beauty magazines want to feature her style this that ..I recommend you listen to I am not my hair by India arie I mean Rylan was just joking for christ sakes dont white girls wear extensions?? Maybe you should check out the towie lot..

    I love Rylan ild never judge him weda he’s gay or if he got the job because he won the celeb version NO! even tho both AJ and Rylan are still getting to terms with the job …they cannot be immediately as good as Emmaa but how will the “Little ones” grow if they are not given a chance?

    If people decide they want to wear weaves please let them be we all have choices to make and dont get me wrong I haven worn a weave in almost 3 years but the fact you insinuated that AJ might have gotten the Job cos of weaves is absolutely ridiculous and unacceptable!

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