The U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Regina Benjamin, has recently gotten some heat over her comments that African-Americans, as well as other ethnic groups, like Hispanics, don’t workout because it messes up their hair.
In an interview with CNN.com, she said: “If you go out and spend $40-$50 to get your hair done, you don’t want to go out and get it all sweaty and wet that afternoon before you got to show it off….When you’re starting to exercise, you look for reasons not to, and sometimes the hair is one of those reasons.”
Benjamin made her comments at a hair show, where she encouraged hair stylists to create and recommend styles that make it easier to workout and re-style. However, despite the appropriate location—and, in our opinion, insightful comments—some, like Jeff Stier, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research (a conservative think tank) told the NY Times that the surgeon general is focusing too much on a “niche” issue that’s “bizarre.”
In fact, the Times notes that “Dr. Benjamin has introduced new fitness initiatives, released a report on tobacco smoke, and unveiled a new icon to replace the old food pyramid. But it’s her unusual stance on hair and health that is likely to garner the most attention.”
What do you think? Is this a real issue for you?