In Black Panther, Okoye is a formidable Wakandan warrior, leader of the all-female royal guard the Dora Milaje, and right-hand to the king, T'Challa. Her limbs strike as fast and powerfully as lighting. Her weapons of choice are her long spear and sharp tongue. But in a pinch, she can even use a tool of Western oppression to conquer colonizers. Of course, we're talking about her throwing wig.
Okoye and her throwing wig weren't together long. And their time together was fraught with tension. She resented having to cover her tattoos and bald head, both of which are a sign of her standing in the Dora Milaje. But to be inconspicuous in a Busan casino, sacrifices must be made. That means Okoye teaming up with a wig of soft brown curls that reflects a more European beauty standard. But as soon as the Wakandans' cover is blown, Okoye wastes no time whipping her false hair into the face of her foes, blinding Klaue's henchman before knocking him head-over-feet off the balcony.
From a tactical perspective, this is a slick move that briefly blinds her opponent, giving her an advantage even in close quarters. From a metaphorical one, it's Okoye violently rejecting the beauty standards of the colonizer's world along with its constrained views on femininity. Danai Gurira, who plays Okoye, told Essence this was a willful subversion that's reflected in Black Panther's aesthetic for the strong, black women of the Dora Milaje.
"The ferocity is not compromised for femininity," Gurira explained, "They’re both allowed to coexist and we don’t see that enough and we don’t know that enough societally as little girls growing up. You can be both. You can combine those two things and how fun is that?"
As you can see for yourself in the clip below, pretty damn fun.
RIP throwing wig, from hair to eternity.