By now, I'm sure you've seen or at least heard about the footage of the TODAY Show's makeover from Hell, where a Black model (Malyia McNaughton) had her beautiful curls turned into a bird's nest by "beauty expert" Deepica Mutyala. A bird's nest sitting on top of a streetlight on a windy-ass day. A bird's nest in a Sharknado.
If you haven't seen it yet, please take a moment and watch.
Now, watch it again. But this time pay no attention to her hair and just focus on her face.
It is the face of uncontrollable fuckshit happening around or to you. Which, for many Black people, is the face of capital letter White People whitepeopling. But, since you're at work (or on internationally televised live TV!) you have to stay pleasant and professional. It's not all that different from what we saw with Emmy Victor earlier this year and Draymond Green last year.
(And yes, I know Deepica Mutyala isn't White, but crimes against Black hair make you White by proxy. And this was such a blatant example of whitepeopling that even the actual White person there — Savannah Guthrie — acknowledged it and threw some shade with "it helps to be beautiful.")
It's the type of practiced, performative countenance that might make Susan from Accounting assume Tasha from Sales likes her and her terrible, off color jokes, her beet and bologna casseroles, and her "concerns" about Black Lives Matter being divisive. But, in reality, Tasha hates Susan's guts. Tasha despises Susan. Tasha hates Susan so much that when Tasha's husband picks her up from work, all Tasha's husband asks is "What did she do today?"
Tasha hates her so much that she's no longer Susan. She's just "she."
But Susan will never know. Because Tasha has student loans. And a Benz she really, really shouldn't have bought but needed to to remind her why she smiles at Susan every day.