Hot Take: That 'Genius' Who Put Gorilla Glue in Her Hair? NBC Blames 'Oppression,' 'Trauma of Black Beauty Standards'

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

So you know that warning label they put on aerosol cans, right? The one that says something to the effect of “Do not use near open flame or store at high temperature”?


As the Missouri lady below found out the hard way, they meant that. Although in her defense, she just left an aerosol can in her hot car too long, but you get the point.

There are all sorts of warning labels on all sorts of products, many of which fall somewhere in between common sense and downright silly. However, as most of us are aware by now, it appears that the makers of Gorilla Glue should have included a warning on their industrial-strength glue: Do not apply to your body or in your hair.

The saga began when Louisiana resident Tessica Brown ran out of her usual hairspray, göt2b Glued. So Tessica did what any rational person would do: she sprayed Gorilla Spray Adhesive all over her head.

Bad, bad, bad, bad, idea. Which is exactly what she said in a TikTok video last week.

Jason Whitlock tweeted his thoughts about Tessica and her decision.

“An unstable person puts ‘Gorilla Glue’ in her hair and it seems the media desperately wants us to know about her. She’s likely headed toward social media fame and reality TV. Bamboozled again. What am I missing here? Why is this written about in the New York Times? I don’t get it.”

Exactly. As bizarre as the story was, why was it worthy of a major story in The New York Times? Ah, because there’s a “rest of the story.” And a predictable one at that.


And “Saturday Night Live”? That, I get. Hilariously so.

Common sense or not, this is 2021, America. And you know what that means.

As our friends over at Twitchy reported, NBCLX — NBCUniveral’s digital news service that provides “what Gen Z and millennial audiences are looking for: storytelling that is stirring, straightforward and helps them feel connected to our diverse society” — argued that Tessica’s decision to use industrial-strength Gorilla Glue to style her hair wasn’t her fault.

Any idea whose fault it was? You got it, as noted by the Twitchy team.

As NBCLX reported, when attorney-turned-physician Alana Nichols first learned why #GorillaGlue was trending on social media, it “evoked a sense of familiarity” to her.


“I’m not about to call this girl stupid when my normal Sunday routine involved sitting in a kitchen doorway while my granny applied grease to my edges and then ran an IRON comb through my hair after heating it on the stove,”

According to Nichols, pain is relatively common when it comes to styling black hair. She reflected on getting her first “sew-in.”

“I know that we are willing to have a headache for a day to get our hair done right. My friends told me you need to take Advil and ibuprofen beforehand, especially because you’re tender headed and your head’s still probably going to hurt after.”

NBCLX of course took it to a whole new level:

For a group that deals with the pressures of racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism, beauty standards in the community are deeply rooted in oppression in the past and present.

Never being able to come close enough to the Eurocentric ideals of beauty, including white skin, straight hair and slim features, Black aesthetics are constantly undervalued.

Even in online dating, the Black community faces racial discrimination and Black women were rated “less attractive” than women of other races in an OKCupid study from 2014.

Shocked? Me neither.

According to NBCLX, “beauty standards of the Black community are not only scrutinized [discriminated against, you meant; just say it] in online dating, but also in the workplace.

recent study revealed that Black women who rock natural styles are often seen as being less professional, less competent, and more likely to experience bias in job recruitment.

Ultimately, Black women are forced to choose between either protecting the texture of their God-given coils or straightening their hair to escape natural hair biases, the Michigan State and Duke University study concluded.


Okay, fine. I’m not a black woman, so I’ll take your word, here — simply for argument’s sake. But there’s a whole lot of daylight between the various methods of styling black hair and thinking it might be a great idea to spray industrial-strength Gorilla Glue on your head, right? Just me?

Au contraire, according to NBCLX.

From childhood, Black people are taught that they have to be “twice as good to have half of what they have,” and this extends to appearance. There’s undue burden to prove oneself.

This is likely why Ms. Brown needed to make sure that there was literally not a single hair out of place.

In the Black community, there’s a saying that one must never go outside “looking raggedy.”

The “larger story,” according to NBCLX, is the plight of black women, due to “the societal pressure to accept that beauty is pain.”

And the final bit of advanced rationalization:

“So what kind of runs through my mind is she ran out of her glue,” Nichols said as she imagined the events that led up to Brown’s sticky situation. “She was like, OK, maybe I’m not going to leave the house with my hair looking like this. I got to use something.”

With her Got2bGlue gel bottle empty, there was little she could do if she planned to leave her home ready to face the stereotypes and discrimination she would already encounter because of the color of her skin.


So, in Brown’s mind, NBCLX “reasoned,” Tessica Brown “did what she had to do.”

Let’s go to Kurt Schlichter for the final word.

‘Nuff said.

To Tessica Brown’s credit, as reported by the New York Post on Sunday, she is donating more than $20,000 of the $24,000 that was raised for her online to a charity started by the plastic surgeon who finally freed her locks, according to a report.


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