OPINION: What does the hairstyle popularized by Taylor Swift’s boo have to do with Black history, swag surfing and white culture’s greatest innovators?

OPINION: What does the hairstyle popularized by Taylor Swift’s boo have to do with Black history, swag surfing and white culture’s greatest innovators?

 

If you’re one of the people who recently read the now-famous profile on Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s haircut, you might have a serious question about the state of journalism in America:

 

OPINION: What does the hairstyle popularized by Taylor Swift’s boo have to do with Black history, swag surfing and white culture’s greatest innovators?
Are there any Black people at the New York Times?

To be clear, the Times article wasn’t actually about Kelce, his career or even his status as the Prince of the Swifties. Instead, it focused on how Kelce has popularized the haircut known in Black America as “the fade.” To explain the new viral haircut that you can find anywhere Black people exist, Times reporter Alyson Krueger interviewed someone who was astounded by the “sheer number of requests” for the haircut. Interestingly, Krueger managed to find an expert who’s at the vanguard of the urban style: Jeffery Dugas, a white barber in Canada.

“He attributes the demand to not only the fact that Mr. Kelce is dating Taylor Swift, but also because his brother, Jason Kelce, had a viral, shirtless moment at the Chiefs vs. Bills game,” Krueger wrote. “Mr. Dugas is hardly the only barber getting these requests. Across the world, not just the country, men are replicating Mr. Kelce’s hairstyle, claiming it attracts positive attention from friends and love interests and gives them more confidence.”

To be fair, this has nothing to do with Kelce, Taylor or haircuts. He didn’t say he invented the style. He probably thinks a “tight fade” is a receiving pattern in the end zone. And, I’m sorry white people, but please stop comparing a fade to a crew cut or a “high & tight”; they’re totally different things. One is an art form, the other is available at Supercuts. If you, like me, are aware that this so-called “viral sensation” has been one of the most popular haircuts in Black America for decades, you need to understand how white people create, invent and innovate. In Christopher Columbus’ America, nothing exists until white people “discover it.”

Even though it’s Black History Month, it’s still important to recognize the contributions of all cultures — even the unseasoned ones. So, to honor the great white creators of the past, we thought we’d list eight innovations, inventions and creations that were conceived or popularized by white culture.