The topic of imitating the white person brings lots of different attitudes and opinions. Both authors, Bell Hooks and Richard Rodriguez, wrote effective essays on the assimilation of white people but, Bell Hooks has the stronger one. In Aria: A Memoir of a Bilingual Childhood, Rodriguez writes about his disagreement with affirmative action and the struggle that his family went through because of language difficulties; but, his many personal examples affects only a few people. On the other hand, Bell Hooks' essay, Straightening Our Hair, has personal & public examples of women who do things to copy the white female and her essay is metaphorical so it really isn't only about women but it is also a message to everyone. Bell Hook's essay is more potent than Rodriguez's because her essay relates to more people, thus having the greater effect. .
Bell Hooks' essay basically is about people of color imitating white people. She covers the topic of straightening hair, reasons why women do assimilate, and it all boils down to one thing that Bell Hooks wants us to learn, which is you really don't have to do any assimilating to be successful but to just be yourself. In the beginning of her essay, she writes about home to make you feel comfortable. Then she gently starts rubbing in the fact that women of color simply are emulating white people. "Hair pressing was a ritual of black women's culture-of intimacywhich the custom of black folks straightening our hair emerges, it represents an imitation of the dominant white group's appearance." Hooks' quote shows how she first makes the reader comfortable by saying that it was a black women's ritual of "intimacy" but then she contradicts herself by saying that the "ritual" was only just a makeover trying to look like white women. Her contradictions makes it more cogent because its like a sudden blow to the head.
Bell Hooks also uses examples of other people such as, "A number of black women have argued that straightened hair is not necessarily a signifier of low self-esteem.