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I know what you’re thinking – Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman doesn’t have a Jew-fro; the gymnast has perfectly straight hair.  Well, let me clear something up. Underneath all that gel and spray is a Jew-fro waiting to get out.

Or so I think.  I really have no idea what her hair is like.  Admittedly, I’m just jumping on the Olympics bandwagon to appease the gods of SEO. (London! Gold! Doping! Phelps!).  But the recent attention on this 18-year-old gymnast also gives me the opportunity to say how great it is that someone from our tribe has done so well in an athletic competition.

Jewish athletes are few and far between – and usually the most successful ones are men.  As for Jewish women, well, let’s just say unless they start awarding gold medals for mahjong or pushing their way to the front of the line at a buffet, they are pretty underrepresented in the world of sports.

Now along comes this talented gymnast with the most yiddishe punam you’ve ever seen, who wins two golds and a bronze in front of the world.  And if that weren’t enough, she won one of those golds by doing a floor exercise to Hava Nagila! And if that weren’t enough, she also paid tribute to the Israeli athletes who were murdered at the ’72 Munich Olympics, giving a slap in the face to the IOC who chose not to acknowledge the 40-year anniversary of that event.

Wow – this Aly Raisman is quite the overachiever – a goody goody even.  But she’s a little too perfect, don’t you think? Like, despite the hours and hours she spends training, you just know she’s also a straight-A student and volunteers at a soup kitchen in her spare time.

It’s great that Jewish children have a such a good role model and everything, but I think she’s setting expectations a little too high.  Jewish parents around the world will now be asking their kids, “Why can’t you be more like that nice Raisman girl who won all those medals at the Olympics – and [most likely] calls her grandparents every day?” And knowing they will never match those achievements, we’ll see a generation of Jews even more insecure and neurotic than us from the current crop.

You know how in movies and TV shows, people are always warned to stop picking on the nerdy kids because one day they’re gonna be rich and powerful?  While that is a load of BS most of the time, Mark Zuckerberg is the rare example of that prophesy coming true. But rich and powerful is a bit of an understatement when discussing the Zuck.  Not only is he a bajillionaire, but he has pretty much enslaved humanity through his little Facebook site.

What I find most fascinating about him is that he kept his Jew-fro.  While he could afford to get an angel’s hair transplanted onto his scalp, he still bears that coarse and curly hairstyle he’s had his whole life.  Then again, for all we know he had pure gold spun into those locks of his; it is the world’s richest Jew-fro after all.

That smug little smile tells me I’m right about the spun gold thing.

In our very first “Your Jew-Fro” entry, I’d like to introduce you to Rogelio. Despite not being Jewish, he has done more to advance the cause of Jewish men with curly hair than anyone else I know.  But enough from me, here he is to tell his story.

Hey guys,

My name is Rogelio and I am the man behind Manly Curls, the popular lifestyle site for curly haired men. Yes, I grow quite the jewfro when my hair is beyond 2 inches and it takes a whole 10 inches for my hair to hang down, which means I get to sport, naturally, a jewfro for about 2 years if I want to grow my hair and have it caressing my face (luscious locks ain’t just for women, you know).

I have been on a journey to master my curly hair for 10 years now, after I randomly got inspired (by a celebrity on TV) to do something about my curls. Ever since, I have had the chance to try and experiment with pretty much everything on my hair and the hair of others (learnt a lot!), and I am a firm believer that dudes with curly hair can have “cool” hair too, it just takes some tweaking. I write my own content (as in, I don’t copy/imitate others, I literally sit down, brainstorm and create everything from scratch) and I take the whole curly hair thing as half fun/half serious. Us curly dudes need knowledge without having to become “hair divas”, as I like to say.

My hobbies include writing, picking up heavy stuff shirtless, jumping on airplanes to bizarre destinations and eating donuts (when no one is looking). I am also bilingual and can have some weird conversations in French as well as mumble a few phrases in Arabic.

So yeah, pass by Manly Curls, say hi, and keep those luscious locks, well, manly!

All the best.

Rogelio

http://www.manlycurls.com/about-the-author/

P.S Thanks to AJ for putting me in his blog, keep rocking, sir!

If you’d like see your pic and story up here, drop me a line at JewHyphenFro@gmail.com.  And be sure to check out my interview at manlycurls.com!

Not sure why, but somehow Jews have totally co-opted the hippie movement.  Go to any Phish concert, and at least three-quarters of the audience will be Jewish guys with full beards and a mess of curls on their heads. Go to any college campus on a warm day, and chances are, there will be a bunch of barefoot Jews sitting around in a circle with a couple guitars singing Grateful Dead and Bob Marley songs.

And despite the fact that many of these Jewish hippies, or Jewpies, if you will, come from comfortable middle class families, they act like they were born dirt poor.  So how can you explain such a disconnect? Maybe because one of the founders of the hippie movement, Abbie Hoffman, was also a Jew from a comfortable middle class family who acted like he was born dirt poor.

And he had quite the Jew-fro!

Hoffman was an endless advocate of the hippie lifestyle, even writing a book about it that is regarded as the hippie’s guide to life.  In Steal this Book, Hoffman advises readers on doing all things hippie-ish: growing marijuana, getting free stuff, joining a commune, rebelling against authority, and, as the title implies, trying to overthrow corporate America.  And in typical hippie-critical fashion, Hoffman’s book became a best seller, making its already comfortable author even more comfortable.

Believe it or not, someone stole my copy of this book.

Full confession time.  I’m actually a bit of a hippie-crit myself. I have a mess of curls on my head, sometimes have a beard, attended Phish concerts, and have read and agreed with many of the points in Steal this Book.  But if Hoffman’s legions of followers can look past his hippie-critical ways, I hope you forgive my transgressions as well.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about Seth Rogen on a blog about Jewish people’s hair.  The guy practically made Jew-fros popular again.  (Not that they ever went out of style for some of us, mind you.)

I'm sure he'd much rather be Seth Frogen than Seth Rogaine.

Aside from reintroducing the Jew-fro to a new generation, in many ways, Seth Rogen is the most typical, and stereotypical, Jew around.  Think about it.  In addition to the curly hair, he’s chubby, has glasses, and generally looks pretty goofy – typical physical traits for many of us Jewish males.  Moreover, by all accounts, he’s a very nice guy in real life.  And what does he do for a living?  He writes, acts, and does standup comedy.  Three typically Jewish professions in one.

For these reasons, I hereby proclaim Seth Rogen the patron saint of Jew-fro.com!

He has a halo, but it's hidden under all that hair.

Wait a minute…us Jews don’t believe in saints.  So let’s call him our patron mensch.  Yeah, that’s more like it.