Gorilla Glue Girl Is A Prime Example Of How Black Women Can't Catch A Break With Their Hair

Photo: TikTok
Gorilla Glue Girl Is A Prime Example Of Why Black Women Can't Catch A Break With Their Hair

By now I’m sure that pretty much the entire internet has seen the video of the woman who used Gorilla Glue in place of hairspray. 

Gorilla Glue Girl, whose real name is Tessica Brown, went viral on her TikTok account, telling users that she had applied Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive Heavy Duty to her hair when she ran out of her usual Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray. 

In the video, Brown explained that her hair had been stuck in the same hairstyle for the past month, even saying it had been “a bad, bad, bad idea.”

"Y'all look. My hair, it don't move," Brown said as she gestured to her hair that was styled in a side braid. "I've washed my hair 15 times and it don't move."

Tessica Brown’s original TikTok video has now amassed around 32.4 million views, and 5.1 million likes. 

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Since that video, Brown has successfully gotten the gorilla glue removed from her hair in a surgery performed by Ghanian-born surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng. 

I’m sure I can speak for everyone who has followed this journey that we’re extremely happy for Brown that she finally has her hair back. But I couldn’t help but wonder why this whole ordeal even had to happen in the first place.

Brown states that she ran out of her normal hairspray — and the first question I asked to myself was: Why couldn’t she have just waited to go to the store and buy some more? Why did she feel that she had to find something else to slick her hair back?

Questions like that obviously run much deeper, and it can all be traced back to the fact that Black women aren’t allowed the luxury of going out into the world without looking presentable.

Much of it is also internalized. Black women have been the brunt of so many hurtful comments and jokes about their hair and bodies that we find the means to protect ourselves so we don’t get ridiculed. We leave the house in pristine condition so that no one can say anything — whether that’s with our clothes or in Tessica Brown’s case, our hair.

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Black hair has been something deemed as precious for so many years. It’s the way that Black people have expressed ourselves, and frankly, we spend too much time on it in the mornings and in general. 

Frankly, it's extremely sad that Tessica Brown had to resort to Gorilla Glue just to make herself presentable, at the horrible expense of ruining her hair. 

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This also raises question about why Black women can’t just go outside with our hair a little bit messy. Why can’t we rock those messy buns? Or why can’t we just tie a scarf around our hair and call it a day? 

I've personally experienced the pressure to not leave the house without my natural hair style. I rarely leave my apartment without my hair slicked back, or braided down. It’s mostly because I feel unpresentable if I don’t but it’s also because I feel as if I do, people will stare. People will do a double-take on the street as if I have three heads. The same cannot be said for a non-Black person.

White women can leave their house without brushing their hair, or can just throw their hair into some kind of messy bun, and people will call it “messy-chic.” 

Black women aren’t afforded that same luxury. I hope incidents like Tessica Brown hopefully never happen again. And I also hope  Black women realize how beautiful their hair is — in any style. It doesn’t matter if your hair is slicked back or out in an afro. 

Your hair is beautiful, and your hair is enough. 

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Chicago. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Follow her on Instagram