Lo slap of Will Smith on stage at the Oscars night. The debate - was it a gag or was it serious? The turmoil backstage. The actor's repentance, his tears. A Hollywood story scrutinised far and wide. But of Jada Pinkett's feelings Smith's wife mocked by Chris Rock for her pathological alopecia, no one took care of it. All the words for them - the mocker and the avenging knight - and none for her. Esther Pineda writes about it here.
As always attention and the limelight focused on men and the violence between them, but let's talk about how Chris Rock, who in 2009 produced the documentary Good Hair and he knows very well the importance of hair for black women (he is not ignorant about it) and how he once again resorted to the anachronistic 'comic' device of making fun of people's physiques, exercising #AestheticViolence in front of hundreds of colleagues and millions of viewers against African-American Jada Pinkett and the baldness she suffers from an autoimmune disease.
It is a clear example of how the beauty has been built and erected as a social value. It doesn't matter if you are famous or not, if you have financial resources or not, if you have access and visibility in the media or not; if you are a woman, and even more so a black woman, you are always a woman. judged and exposed to violence because of your physical appearance when for some reason you do not match the expectation of beauty that has been built for you.
And yet, despite the seriousness of this fact and the persistence of this narrative, the academy has not spoken about Chris Rock's assault on Jada, the media only report what happened between the two men and the woman is just mentioned as 'the apple of discord'. But what Jada thought and felt about this aggression, what millions of women think and feel every day when faced with the aggression they suffer as a result of beauty stereotypes remains invisible and is silenced by the noise of the words and images of what men say and do, while aesthetic violence silently eats away at women's bodies and psyches.
translation by Sara Punzo, original text here