I support Zendaya Coleman for calling out (of all people, the relatively kind) Giuliana Rancic, who noted that Zendaya looked like she might “smell of...weed” because she was wearing her hair in dreads.
Though I don't doubt that Rancic was not trying to express contempt for black people, her defensive response that it wasn't about race isn't really true. More accurately, it wasn't intentionally about race.
Rancic's non-apology, complete with assurance that she can't ever be racially insensitive.
It also raises some interesting questions about the existence of shows like Fashion Police (which I realize a lot of my readers love).
So many times—always?—in cases like this, people are quick to say that it's humor. Get a sense of humor!
That's such a thoughtless (in the literal sense of having no thought process behind it) proposition. It's okay to say anything if the intent is to be funny, and anyone directly targeted, affected or offended by it has to either laugh or shut up? That's an example of policing language, which is what defenders of comedy at all costs usually cite whenever a joke is perceived to have gone too far.
So if you disagree with anything I'm saying in this post [insert clown horn], too bad, it's meant to be humorous!
I once did a scathing post that I semi-regretted, but the concept was: I pulled one of those would-you-be-caught-dead-in-this-outfit? type of pages from a weekly tabloid and I found photos of all the celebs who were on the panel. They were not extremely attractive, nor were they good dressers, and this is coming from a guy with about three pairs of pants and seven T-shirts. I posted them and roasted them. One of the women wrote me, humiliated and angry, and tried to excuse it by saying the magazine wrote most of the stuff for them to say anyway.
I've also commented, and did so again on Facebook regarding the Oscars, on the ridiculousness of having certain people being put forth as arbiters of beauty and taste in order to judge others. The optics of seeing some of these commentators in comparison to the women they think didn't quite do it right stink...worse than pot.
And there is no denying that the feel of a barb changes based on the age and the gender and the race and so on of who is making the barb. I don't think Zendaya needs to get a sense of humor in this case. I think she's got every right to be ticked off, not least of all because she looked outrageously beautiful and chic, and if that's not the point of Fashion Police, what exactly is?