In a bizarre incident that surfaced two weeks ago on social media, a 40-year-old Black woman named Tessica Brown sprayed a superglue (also called Gorilla Spray Adhesive) on her hair. The woman had rubbed the glue ‘vigorously’ on her scalp as she ran out of her usual hair spray. The glue, which is used as an adhesive for stones, ceramics and bonding metals, plastered her hair onto her scalp. Despite washing it over 15 times, she was unable to move her hair.
Traumatised by the uncanny situation, the mother of five took to TikTok to share her ordeal. “I washed my hair 15 times and it. Don’t. Move. If you ever run out of Got2B glued spray, don’t ever use this unless you want your hair to be like that forever,” Tessica recounted. She pleaded for help after having failed to remove the strong adhesive from her hair. Her video went viral on social media, with netizens taking potshots at her for using glue on her hair instead of hair spray.
She had been infamously dubbed as the ‘Gorilla Glue Brown’ on the internet. And it must be mentioned that it wasn’t a case of her mistaking glue for a hair spray. Tessica Brown was well-aware about the adhesive properties of Gorilla Spray Adhesive. She had previously used the superglue for fixing Christmas decorations at her house in Louisiana in United States. Perhaps, Tessica could not gauge the severity of the consequences.
We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair. We are glad to see in her recent video that Miss Brown has received medical treatment from her local medical facility and wish her the best. pic.twitter.com/SoCvwxdrGc— Gorilla Glue (@GorillaGlue) February 8, 2021
Nevertheless, the incident caught the attention of the company. Gorilla Glue tweeted, “We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair. We are glad to see in her recent video that Miss Brown has received medical treatment from her local medical facility and wish her the best.” The adhesive firm pointed out that their label clearly stated that the product has to be used for crafts, home and office projects and should not be applied on skin, eyes and clothing.
The Washington Post engages in vicious race-baiting
While the traumatic saga ended for Tessica Brown after Black plastic surgeon Michael K. Obeng offered his services for free, the Washington Post decided to go about its usual race-baiting. In an article titled, “The ‘Gorilla Glue girl’ saga drew ridicule but also a sense of community among others”, the left-propaganda newspaper argued that it was a case of “systemic racism”. The newspaper claimed while she was being mocked online, the Black community chose to shield her.
“The extreme she went to for zero flyaways is very unusual, but the desired outcome is as old as Black people’s time in a country that often mocked how they look, experts say,” the article alleged. Neal Lester, who is the founding director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University claimed that the bizarre incident reminded him of ‘unusual hair products’ used by Black Americans.
While laying the foundation for his argument on the roots of racism in the US, Lester claimed that Black Americans would use a hair straightener made of potatoes, eggs and lye in the 20th century. “That stringing started with enslaved people using axle wheel grease and dirty dishwasher with oil,” he added. The article argued that while enslaved women would use butter, grease or bacon fact to straighten their hair, enslaved men would use axle wheel grease as a dye and as a ‘temporary straightener.’
As per Professor Kristin Denise Rowe, the hair of black women have been discussed and criticised for the use of extensions and straightening treatments. “That’s missing a lot of nuance about how these things come to be cultural practices,” she claimed. Rowe further alleged, “In reality, what’s crazy is anti-Black notions of beauty and professionalism and notions of what’s appropriate…We (Black Americans) know we exist in a society where we’re constantly being told it’s not right now.”
At this point, one might wonder as to how the bizarre and ‘deliberate’ action by a woman of colour amounted to systemic racism. Had common sense prevailed, Tessica Brown would have refrained from applying glue on her hair. And what if she wasn’t short of hair spray on that fateful day? Would it have implied that she was adherent to systemic racism or the absence of any such thing? The innate tendency by the Washington Post to find a ‘race angle’ even where it doesn’t exist trivialises the struggle faced by the Black community on a daily basis in the US.
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro calls out The Post
In a Youtube video published on Firday, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro slammed the Washington Post for invoking systemic racism in the glue hair fiasco. He said, “Gorilla glue is glue…Why would you put that in your hair unless you’re dumb? She is dumb as evident by the fact that she put glue in her hair. You don’t need to go further than that.”
Shapiro added, “The woman is apparently black… The fact that she is black, it must be due to systemic racism as per The Washington Post. I don’t see black people putting glue on their hair, except this dumb lady. This is not a systemic problem…People doing dumb things are not ougrowth of systemic racism. They are just dumb things.” He concluded, “She did not say she abided by the white standards of beauty. She just liked her hair that way. But, somehow it is still systemic racism.”