This Singer's Tweet About Hotel Shampoo Sparked An Important Convo About White Privilege

"Not sorry."

A few tweets about something as simple as hotel shampoo has sparked an important discussion about White privilege on social media. Halsey has highlighted this instance of people of color not being deemed the societal default, likely introducing many folks to an issue they've probably never considered before.


"I've been traveling for years now and it's been so frustrating that the hotel toiletry industry entirely alienates people of color," Halsey said in the initial tweet sent last week. The tweet went on to describe what is usually offered for patrons as "perfumed watered down white people shampoo" and calling it "annoying" that 50 percent of the clientele is essentially ignored by this being the only choice.

In response, people questioned Halsey's own ethnic background (which, for the record, she is biracial Black and White), wondered how this is a racist situation (she noted how silly it is to not know that people of different races use different hair care products), and asked why people don't bring their own shampoo (she is fortunate enough to be in a position to have that option, but not everyone is).

"Who knew me acknowledging that white hair care products are the national standard (while POC are confined to a tiny aisle) would piss so many people off," Halsey added, expanding the issue to include stores as well. "Not sorry."

Some of those who responded to the "Strangers" singer also tried to dismiss the argument by saying hotel shampoo is poor quality for everyone. Brushing it off, though, ignores the fact that there is a group (White people) who can often choose to use what is offered to them and a group (POC) who can't always do so.

For example, there are studies that have shown that — while we're all human — not all hair is created equally in regards to shape, thickness, and other important aspects that affect how it is taken care of and treated. Plus, with a rise in multiracial salons, why not have travel options that are inclusive?

Telling them to deal with it, to stop complaining, or to buy their own products, is dismissive and essentially proves Halsey's point. This is a microaggression that half the population doesn't have to worry about — and it's not OK to negate something the other half feels. This isn't a malicious thing at all, but it does show what society deems as "the norm" and makes those who aren't in that feel like "the other."

"The point is that mass production of those products as the standard is part of a greater problem of disenfranchisement," Halsey concluded, hitting the idea home. "If white ppl can enjoy the luxury/convenience, there should be an option for everyone to. It's an 'insignificant' example of a bigger problem. That's all!"

The fact that some people don't even have to worry about this at all while some people do is exactly what privilege looks like.

(H/T: Twitter)

Cover image credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock


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