Today I’m thinking about how Rosa Diaz’s hair is as big a part of her armor as her leather jacket. You’d expect a character as aloof and intimidating as Diaz to have a hairstyle equally severe.
Instead, her hair is big and bold and intensely beautiful. It’s her coworker Amy Santiago who belongs on the cover of “Hair Pulled Back Magazine”; it’s Amy whose work style is no-nonsense, practical, not a distraction from the task at hand. Rosa’s hair draws attention. Rosa’s hair texture changes from soft to crisp and from waves to curls, but it is always down and it is always dramatic. A statement of grandeur in every room she enters.
Diaz is a cop, a woman of color in a workforce dominated by white men. She’s had to work her ass off to get half as far as some of the numbskulls in her department, she needs to be tough enough to face the daily bullshit sent her way by criminals and coworkers alike. She’s fierce by nature but also by design.
In the mornings, when Diaz gets dressed, she reaches for an outfit that reinforces how fierce she is. Her wardrobe is a warning: don’t fuck with me, boys. I can take you out and and destroy you as well as anyone else in the precinct. In fact, I can do that better than most of the precinct. Being hot only makes her more intimidating. Yeah, I can take you down while looking this good. Go ahead, stare at my body. That’ll distract you enough for me to do my job.
Before she leaves for work each day, she styles her hair to be aggressively beautiful too. Getting her helmet into place before she heads out to battle. Reminding herself as much as anyone else what’s at stake.