The Definition of Authentic


Even white girls are getting in on the action!

Like Eboni, I have yet to see comedian Chris Rock's documentary, "Good Hair," because (a) it's a recession and I'd rather put a 10 spot on the light bill and (b) I've already spent probably a quarter of my life in the salon and can't waste another two hours. Still, the debates about good, bad, real, fake and whatever kind of hair rages on. Just today, talk show host Bonnie Hunt had an interesting back and forth with "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star and hopeful wig-mogul Kim Zolciak:

Bonnie: "I'm trying to encourage you to use your real, authentic hair."

Kim: "You know what I'm doing a big spread on Wednesday—it'll be out in a couple weeks—with my real hair."


Bonnie: "You're taking off that thing. You're gonna be so happy."

Kim: "People are gonna love it, because everyone at home sees it and they're like you look so…"

Bonnie: "You've just gotten used to yourself with that wig."

Despite that fact that Kim's Barbie hair is just plain ole wrong (I mean if anyone needs to be the face of a wig line it's Ms. Tyra), why is Bonnie (or the rest of world) so curious about what Kim's "real, authentic" hair looks like? Because I'm pretty sure the blonde and straight haired Bonnie is as familiar with a blow dryer and a bottle of Clairol as Kim is with Mattel. Does anyone have "real, authentic" hair? And does the big unveiling of one's "real, authentic" hair even mean anything besides the fact that you need to make an appointment ASAP?

—Helena "I like my roots to lay flat" Andrews

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.