Coconut Oil is certainly having a moment, no? Pinterest, Google, Bing, what have you – The whole WWW is covered with 5 bajillion best uses for Coconut Oil. I love, love, love C.O.’s taste, smell, and texture, so I’m thrilled people are openly showing it some love. The popularity is obvious as I happily speak to customers about this product (its benefits, uses, and differences in brands/type) on a daily basis. And while I am happy to answer any and all questions about C.O., my interactions have ranged from educational to entertaining to offensive. Yet, even the offensive conversations provide great entertainment later when I retell the stories. Here’s my top 4 scenarios that, yes, actually happen(ed):
Scenario 1: The Christopher Columbus-es
“I JUST discovered this amazing thing called coconut oil. You can cook with it, put it in your hair, your skin, and I just started oil pulling!”
Scenario 2: The Unrealistic Experts
“Yeah, I use coconut oil all the time for everything. But I’m looking for a coconut oil that doesn’t smell like coconut, because that’s gross. Who wants to smell like a coconut? Ugh, you know what I mean? You know what I mean.”
Scenario 3: The Newbies
Leans in real close and whispers, “Is it ok to use coconut oil on white hair?”
Scenario 4: The Connoisseurs
“Soooo…why are (leans in real close, glances around and whispers) white people using coconut oil?” I whisper back, “They finally discovered it.”
I genuinely didn’t know there was such a racial stigma attached to the product until multiple customer interactions (of various races) caused me to go home and google separately: coconut oil for white people, black people, Asians, and Indians. Of course each search leads you down a deep, neverending rabbit hole, so I ended up following link after link to read hours of info about each ethnicity’s hair care, skin care, and nutrition. While all non-Caucasian searches were extremely matter-of-fact, this is how to use the product to achieve this specific result, the “coconut oil for white people” presented very different, more emotional results.
I found multiple entries on yahoo.answers of Caucasian girls asking for permission to use C.O. A Huffington Post article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631.html) written in 2012 provides a gentle hand-holding and quaint introductions, easing everyone into the “miracle product.” The majority of articles I read listed the many reasons WHY to use it rather than HOW. Which, refocusing the spotlight on me and my work experience, explains why I’m always having to instruct HOW to use C.O. to Newbies. Fascinating. Talk about a rabbit hole, this is quickly turning into a Sociology PhD dissertation.
To wrap this up and keep it light, I say to everyone, use it! It’s fabulous for so many reasons, and NO! YOU CAN’T GET COCONUT OIL THAT DOESN’T SMELL LIKE COCONUT.