In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, twelve-year-old Milkman Dead identifies and interprets a gendered difference: "Beauty shops always had curtains or shades up. Barbershops didn’t. The women didn’t want anybody on the street to be able to see them getting their hair done. They were ashamed." If, as Milkman thinks, such concealment reveals women's shame about their appearance, women, as the objects of male gazes, also don't want the production of their appearance to be visible. But the beauty shop with its curtains down also offers women something else: a space of their own beyond the male gaze that they will be subject to as soon as they go outside again. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 August)
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
"Beauty shops always had curtains or shades up. Barbershops didn’t": Hair and gender in Toni Morrison's "Song of Solomon"
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