Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Mighty Afro-Dite


Coronation Street is a world of diversity, a world where black live alongside white, gay with straight, Norris with normal humanoids.  It's a world where people love and accept people who look and act in all sorts of peculiar ways - I'll just point at Mary and back away slowly.

Why, then, is only one afro ever allowed on the Street at a time?

The afro is the mightiest of all hairstyles.  It is proud, defiant; it is quite literally headstrong.  Think of the greatest wearers of the afro.  Diana Ross.  Pam Grier.  Lionel Richie.  Michael Jackson.  These people are legends.  It's the Official Hairstyle of Blaxploitation and Motown, an expression of political might and social awareness.  It's damn fine, you dig?


The first person in Corrie to properly wield an afro with pride was Kelly Crabtree.  (Curly's girlfriend Shirley had a semi-fro, but it was the eighties: everyone had big hair then).  Kelly was short of skirt and big of hair, huge, voluminous locks bursting out of the top of her head.  It acted as an early warning system - beware the mighty mouth approaching.  One glimpse of those stacked curls over the back of a Rovers booth and you knew a noisy time was going to follow.

Kelly left, and was replaced with that girl who was a stripper and who bunked up with Lloyd.  She was completely forgettable.  I can't remember her name even as I sit here.  All I can remember is she had a fierce ball of incredible black hair that radiated from her head like a darkened sun.  It was far and away the most interesting thing about her, and I was sorry to see it leave.

Fortunately, Coronation Street's one and only afro comb was passed on to Kirsty.  This was the first hint that an afro could be a useful mood indicator.  If Kirsty was wearing her hair out, letting it bounce round her head in a free and easy fashion, she was cool and relaxed.  If the hair was pulled back however, pinched into a tiny bun, it was a signal that madness was soon to follow.  Tyrone might have saved himself a lot of bother if he'd just hidden her kirby grips: it was probably the stress of keeping that awesome weave under control that drove Kirsty mad in the first place.  Of course, Natalie Gumede then went on to wield her afro to devastating effect on Strictly.  I was beside myself the week that she fell ill and therefore couldn't perform to Proud Mary, perhaps one of the finest hair shaking songs ever written.  And yes, she was robbed by Abbey Clancey.

Now Jenna's here to uphold the afro tradition, though in the grand tradition of ladies who like ladies, her hair is a little shorter and more sensible than her predecessors.  Unfortunately her job in Roy's Rolls means that her mop of black pride is sadly kept under wraps for health and safety grounds; it's none the less always a pleasure when she turns up in the Rovers with it happily bouncing around her ears.  All these women have been strong, gutsy, fierce - well, all of them except that girl who went off with her ex-husband in the end (Sharon?  Susan?  It'll come to me).  I think Jenna should break out the afro more often, and perhaps influence other members of the Street to follow her example.  Just imagine if Gail emerged from the salon with hair a foot high and a foot wide; I'm sure you'd agree, that would be a joy to behold.



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16 comments:

Newfy Pearl said...

3 beautiful young women. And the actress who played Kelly Crabtree can sing beautifully as well. :-)

Tvor said...

Kelly had amazing hair and so did Kirsty

Anonymous said...

Hilarious, Scott!
Bev

Anonymous said...

LOL...she of the 'fierce ball of incredible black hair that radiated from her head like a darkened sun' was called Cheryl...x

njblas said...

Is Jenna still in it? I hadn't noticed:) Have they got any plans for her character apart from handing over Eccles cakes in the cafe?

Flaming Nora said...

Lloyd sported a developing afro at one point but then it disappeared as quickly as it arrived.

John McE said...

Why they got rid of Kelly, I will never understand. She was a terrific character, being both funny and vulnerable, and I'd love to see her back on t'cobbles.

Anonymous said...

YES! I thought Kelly ("Legs") Crabtree was a wonderful character but she wasn't getting the storylines she deserved. I hated the way Nick betrayed and dumped her so that he could buy into the underwear faktry... I'd love to see her back triumphant and take up with Lloyd again or battle Andrea for Lloyd's attention. Maybe she'll come back as a singer for the bistro or as an independent businesswoman of sorts who opens up some kind of shop on the street or close by... I hope she sticks it to Carla as well!

Anonymous said...

I loved Kelly too. She was a funny lady and what cheek! Of all of Lloyd's ladies, she seemed to have been the best fit.

Anonymous said...

They didn't get rid of Kelly Crabtree she quit the show so she won't be back unless she is desperate for money and the nasty things she said to her so called friends why would they want her back in the factory

Anonymous said...

Jenna strong, gutsy, fierce? Hmm, I respectfully disagree, and wish it were so.

Defrost Indoors said...

I always wondered how Kirsty managed to get that glorious mane of hair tamed into a wee bun.

Zagg said...

Jenna's hair always looks a bit of a mess and not attractive. Her character is like wallpaper now.

Anonymous said...

Simon has a near-Afro. If wild and free is a characteristic so did Eddie Yeates.

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Angela Griffin, a.k.a. Fiona Middleton on Corrie was such a pretty woman. I can't remember her wearing her hair a la Afro all that often on the show, I think it was mostly pulled back or braided.
She wears her hair loose now though, and is still a beauty.

Anonymous said...

If Gail had an afro, her face would completely disappear. All we'd see would be whispering hair.

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