The "Grey's Anatomy" white parent/black daughter hair care conversation was long overdue. Thank goodness Miranda Bailey finally said something. Derrick was feeling indignant. He thought people were staring at him because his adoptive daughter was African. He thought they were all racists, when in fact they were staring because he hadn't a clue of what to do with Zola's hair.
Viewers probably caught that twisted look on Bailey's face when she first saw Derrick and Zola that morning. Her hair was looking frizzy, lopsided and a little bit crazy; but it was none of Bailey's business, so she sucked it up and let it go. Nothing had changed by the end of the day. That's when Bailey intercepted Derrick before he went ballistic over a nurse's wayward glance. She finally explained it in a way he'd understand. "She's staring at you because daddy has nice hair and his daughter's hair is 31 flavors of wrong." They played it like it was Derrick's shortcoming, but Meredith hadn't done that well with the Zola hair care situation either.
Keeping diversity real
You've gotta love "Grey's Anatomy" for keeping diversity so real. They've got a genuine hospital staff mix, with doctors and nurses, both male and female and in every color of the rainbow. They've got a newlywed lesbian doctor duo with a biological doctor father who helps out wherever possible. That's led to guy-style diaper changing mishaps like when he turned away for just a second and little Sofia rolled under the sofa. Grey's paired little African toddler Zola with Caucasian-American adoptive parents Derrick and Meredith. That's led to some not so good hair days for that poor, sweet little girl.
A kinky hair learning curve
Zola's hair was tighter, curlier, more coiled and more fragile than her adoptive mom and dad's straight and wavy locks. Her hair needed special care, and no matter how doctor-smart Derrick and Meredith were, they needed to learn a few interracial family hair care basics. There were books, magazines and websites they could have accessed to learn a few things they needed to know; but they obviously never got around to checking those out. Thank goodness Bailey came to the rescue. As the episode closed, she was passing on a few hair care lessons in the Shepherd/Grey kitchen. It was about time.
With African-American Shonda Rhimes as the show's producer, it's likely little Zola's longstanding hair care issues were intentional and meant to add a few new twists to the "Grey's Anatomy" plot. Hopefully she's had enough of that and little Zola's wild hair days are behind her.
Source: "Grey's Anatomy": Season 8, Episode 15: "If Only You Were Lonely"
- Miranda Bailey