Alopecia and the image of beauty: or, what was the “GI Jane 2” joke about??

I didn’t watch the Oscars last night. But apparently this morning, there’s a ton of commentary on social media about Will Smith open-palm-slapping Chris Rock regarding a joke Chris Rock made about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

That was a Prudential slap, because Will Smith got him a piece of the Rock.

Okay, joke’s over.

But see, here’s the thing. Jada Pinkett Smith has been battling alopecia for the past two years. Alopecia causes premature hair loss, to the point where women can lose all the hair on top of their head. And in a world and society where beauty is paramount, it’s emotionally devastating for a woman – in fact, an actress – to suddenly lose their tresses.

She’s not the only high-profile person to come forward with her struggles with alopecia. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley also suffers from alopecia, as she revealed in a recent video.

And the joke about “GI Jane 2” – that references a 25-year-old motion picture in which Demi Moore appears with a shaved scalp. As in the trailer.

So yeah, I can understand that Jada Pinkett Smith was furious that Chris Rock played off her current condition as a throwaway joke. Rock just followed in the steps of “cringe comedy” from Seth McFarlane’s Oscar hosting stint. Just watch the color rush out of Naomi Watts’ face. Just watch Charlize Theron plotting her own future slap-down.

There’s already a personal and emotional connection with the loss of beauty, in an industry where a woman’s beauty is part of her employment. So yeah, Chris Rock pole-vaulted way over the line on this. I mean, would he have made a joke about another actress who underwent a double mastectomy? Or another actress who recently suffered a miscarriage?

As for Will Smith … should he have slapped the smile off of Chris Rock’s face for that? Let’s put it this way. If someone cracked a joke about your significant other’s health issues, what would you do? Play it off as just cringe humor, or knock the joker into the middle of next month?

I’m just going to say this … whenever it happens, the next time Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith make another Madagascar animated film is going to be a VERY TENSE TIME.