‘Hollywood’s Bald Blonde’ Jannica Olin on Alopecia, Chris Rock’s Joke
As we analyze how offensive Chris Rock‘s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith was — one woman who’s been a long alopecia advocate says … it’s more flattering than anything.
Swedish-born actress Jannica Olin — who first started losing her hair to alopecia in 2013 — dished her thoughts about the awkward Oscars moment to THR … and she makes it clear, the ‘G.I. Jane’ dig wasn’t nearly as big a deal in her eyes as it apparently was for Jada.
JO says as she watched back clips of the exchange after the fact, she was waiting for the hurtful part to come about — but for her, it never really did.
Jannica adds, “I didn’t see what was offensive about it … And I’m very aware we all have different experiences, and we’re all in different places. To me, personally, that … joke was not offensive. I think that’s cool.”
She goes on to explain that the ‘G.I. Jane’ character — Jordan O’Neill, played by Demi Moore in the ’90s — is portrayed as a tough-as-nails badass, and a symbol of female empowerment … and that to her, she would’ve taken Rock’s joke as praise rather than a mean-spirited barb.
Jannica says, “I would have loved to have that said to me. But that’s me, right? I can’t speak for anyone else.”
While Jannica acknowledges alopecia might affect people differently — including Jada and by default, Will too — she says he still should’ve restrained himself … even if he was pissed off. She says, “We’re all human. We’re all going to get triggered by things. But you have to be an adult and sit with something and maybe not react that way, no matter what.”
This has been a raging debate since the beginning — namely, was Will’s reaction simply a result of the hair crack itself, or was it deeper. Most seem to agree … there might’ve been a lot of factors going into the smack, but that perhaps the bald joke was the last straw.
It’s also unclear how offended Jada herself actually was in the moment — yes, she did roll her eyes and show disapproval … but just days before the Oscars, she telegraphed confidence about her alopecia and baldness. So, seemingly mixed signals on that front.
Of course, there’s a race element to this as well … many in the African-American community have argued that hair is particularly important and meaningful to Black women — so some might not accept Jannica’s take here at face value, seeing how she’s white.
FWIW, Jannica’s hair loss was obviously very painful for her too … she has detailed at great length that it was a huge part of her identity and self-worth as a woman. In any case — it would appear Jada is getting a move on with her life … she’s already out and about.