Dear Kathy Lee and Hoda: A Response from the Crunchy Side

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You know the look.

“You give your kids raw milk?”

“You use coconut oil on your body?”

“You don’t give your kids antibiotics every time they get sick?”

“Oh wait. Your kids seldom get sick?”

“Elderberry syrup-what?”

“You keep filthy chickens in your backyard?”

“You don’t get the flu shot?”

Anyone on this journey of simplicity, getting back to grandma’s day, crunchy living, alternative ways (whatever you choose to call it), knows the look. Maybe, you’ve even received more than the look– comments and critical words.

Choosing a life that goes against the mainstream isn’t popular. Today, this lifestyle is viewed as unusual, odd, and even harmful. Of course, indulging with millions of chemicals daily is perfectly normal. Heaven forbid you actually care about what’s going in and on your body.

Earlier this week, a blogging friend, Jacquelyn of Little Owl Crunchy Mama, had a blog post about her choice to not wash her hair with chemical-laden shampoos, go viral. So viral, the Today Show picked up on her story. The criticism and out-right-bullying by the Today Show host, Kathy Lee, was down right distasteful. Words which not only attacked Jacquelyn’s choice, but anyone who would choose to live a “crunchy”, simpler life.

You can watch the segment here.

This is about much more than a simple woman not washing her hair. This is about the bullying of women by fellow women. The bullying and mocking of choices we all personally make. And there are so many choices out there.  Vaccines, food, personal care, homesteading, parenting, even how we wash our clothes. Some of us go against the mainstream, but since when did choosing a life of simplicity call for bullying and mocking? Tearing down other women.

No-poo Today Show

Below, is a letter, a response from a fellow blogger, Leslie from Crunchy Betty .

Dear Kathie Lee and Hoda (but mostly Kathie Lee),


Just … shh.

For a minute. Let me talk. Let someone else talk. Please.


Yesterday, with the exceptional display of journalistic prowess only the two of you can pull off, you publicly shamed a woman. You know, just a little good-natured name calling of a commoner, in between Kathie Lee’s cringe-worthy lyric-forgetting and the best hair evah (EVAH) popular girls circle jerk. No harm, no foul, right?

I get it, girlfriends. I really do get it. You live in a world where you’re plied with products and serums and perfumes and creams made of extracts of baby albino tiger tears mixed with space-aged polymers coated in 200 karat gold. You don’t really know what’s going on *out here* unless your producers shove a bottle of wine and a paper covered in words in front of your face and say, “Don’t think. Just talk.”

I know there’s an in-touch part of you somewhere, it just happens to focus on things like the latest stiletto-wedge-ballet-pump from Jimmy Choo or what Lady Gaga ate for breakfast yesterday morning (extracts of baby albino tiger tears, no doubt).

But out here, ladies, something else is going on. And it’s something your producers won’t hand you a script for (something that would never please the overlord advertisers).

So even though you’re not in touch with it, it does exist. And the beautiful women you made fun of yesterday is a part of it. You can call it “crunchy” (cue Kathie Lee eye roll) or natural or alternative or big bang boopsie. I don’t care. Call it whatever you want, but to look down on it any longer doesn’t fly.

You see, there are thousands of women who have learned one very important thing in the last few years:

We’ve been lied to. We’ve been bamboozled. We’ve been hoodwinked. We’ve been hypnotized by a billion synthetic fragrances slowly stripping us, from the day we’re born, of every shred of the true *natural* humanity we’re a part of.

And because hundreds of women as brave as Jaquelyn Byers of LittleOwlCrunchyMama have spoken out about their no ‘poo lifestyle, we know something you don’t:

Not washing your hair with shampoo doesn’t make you stink. Oh, maybe the first few days are rough, and then any whiff of off-putting smell is gone. It’s gone, and you know why? Because human bodies are designed to work in concert with nature, not battle with it.

We’ve also learned that the stink you cop to having after not washing your hair, Kathie Lee, has more to do with the things that you put IN your body than the things that you put ON your body. A clean diet, more often than not, equals a cleaner smell. And that cleaner smell is quite easy to remove (and be free of), even if you only wash with water.

You can still bathe regularly, Kathie Lee, so you don’t have to worry about smelling like the people “back in the day before shampoo” who only bathed once every few weeks, at most. You can still enjoy other comforts of modern day life. Like, you know, razors and toothbrushes and those little family stick figures you put on your car’s back window. Except not the last part. Please, not those.

I don’t know why I expect more of you, but I do. I expect women in the media to be conscientious about the way they talk about new ideas and, even more so, the way they talk about people. About other women. And, for heaven’s sake, about other women and their relationship with their children.

The disrespect you showed Jacquelyn, simply because she does something you’re not brave enough to learn about, much less try, was nothing short of schoolyard bullying.

I have a friend, you know, who has two girls: ages 5 and 7. And when she caught her children making fun of another kid for having curly hair, do you know what she did? She curled their hair. For a week straight, the girls had curly hair, just so they understood what another person was feeling.

So I know that one of you – I’m guessing Hoda, because she seems to be the bravest of the gang – is going to swallow your pill and do the right thing now. If a 5-year-old and 7-year-old can do it, you can muster up the emotionally responsible fortitude to do it, too.

Don’t wash your hair.

For six weeks.

Do not wash your hair with shampoo. Heck, you could even go the no ‘poo with baking soda and apple cider vinegar route. But either way, no shampoo. For six weeks.

And then come back and talk to us about how awful it is. Then you can talk from an experienced point of view. Then, perhaps, you won’t sit up there on your ultra loud thrones and set the tone for other people to feel like it’s okay to be mean. And many of your viewers were mean. Nasty. Bleh.

Until then, it would be ever so kind if one of you would have a sit down with your producers and schedule a few interviews with women who don’t use shampoo. Get them in your studio. Right next to you. In your face.

So you can smell them. And eat crow.

(I hear it’s delicious this time of year.)

And goodness knows I’m not saying it will work for you. It may not! I mean, let’s be honest, it won’t, because it takes exquisitely detailed spritzing and teasing and coiffing to get you camera ready all the time. But what’s six weeks going to hurt, right? Time flies when you’re a celebrity.

Try it. It’s not like you’ll lose your job – unlike the way you do when you anger the masses by being heartless and snarky.

The worst that can happen is that you’ll stink. The best that can happen is that you’ll gain our respect – and a naturally beautiful head of hair in the process.

~Leslie – Crunchy Betty 

Moms, dads, anyone out there going against the mainstream. Anyone who realizes we’ve lost so much of what life is about. Those on this journey of simplicity, “crunchy” living, with barefoot children running happily through the backyard, beautiful chemical-free hair, and pastured butter and organic veggies from the local market stocked in the fridge. I support you, as a blogger, mom, and fellow “outlaw”.

If you support Jacquelyn, please share her story. Thank you.

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  1. says: Christina

    Well she sounded terrible and very uneducated. Seriously I have such a hard time taking her seriously as a journalist, anchor or person. Anytime I hear her name or see her, all I think about is her husbands cheating sex scandal…and I was a child when that happened. Nothing she done has been note worth IMO. Nothing she says ever is looked at by me as being something I should aknowledge. Case in point with the above video clip.

  2. says: SueO

    Leslie, thank you, thank you, thank you!! Jacquelyn—you are too good for what they dished out to you. Shame on them. Like my mom used to say, consider the source. Kristin, thank YOU for sharing this. I did not see this when it happened.

    These “famous” people need to know something. There is a sub-culture of wonderful REAL young women out there who are going against the “norm” and doing some really great things. They are going back to a more natural way of life, eating real unsprayed food bought directly from the grower—or that they grew themselves, heaven help us; making their own cleaning and personal care products, teaching their children at home, conserving and repurposing and recycling. I am proud of these young women, and I cheer them on. I am “old”, more the age of Kathie Lee (haha), but my heart is with all of you “youngsters”. I’m even making my own changes, learning from you!!

    God bless!!

    1. says: Kristin Marr

      Thank you, Sue. So, so true. I love your comment about a “sub-culture of wonderful REAL young women”. It’s so encouraging to see so many women realizing it’s okay to be a bit different, returning to simplicity. Thank you for the support and kind words.

  3. says: Vicky

    I have see those two but never really paid attention to them so I’m wondering if they’re like this all the time? Who is their audience that they (especially Kathy Lee) would talk so … imbecilic — about all the topics covered on that clip, not just about not using shampoo. They never considered the toxic chemicals the woman was trying to avoid. They didn’t consider that she is washing her hair with water, just not using chemical-laden shampoo. They are vile women. I can’t call them journalists or newscasters, that would be elevating them to a much higher position. They are catty gossipers.

  4. says: Sarah

    Wow, that was cruel, and very narrow minded, I went the BS/ACV route a few years ago and now I use a sulfate-free shampoo 2-3 times a week, my hair doesn’t smell, on the contrary my husband frequently tells me it smells nice. This clip made me really glad I don’t have television!

  5. says: Regina

    I just watched the video of Kathy Lee and Hoda and am shocked at their misinformed comments and catty behavior. I have been poo free (thanks to Crunchy Betty) for almost 6 months now and my hair is finally beautiful instead of a dry frizzy mess. … all those years I never knew. On top of that my hair no longer falls out by handfuls into the drain and brush AND my rashy flakey scalp is gone! So there Kathy and Hoda. I smell jvery nice, thank you, and I only wash my hair once or twice a week with BS/ACV followed by tea tree oil on the ends. My scalp actually doesn’t produce the dirty hair smell any longer since it’s not being stripped of natural oils every other day. I also make my own washing detergent, body powder and now mineral makeup and I’ll be exploring more simple living ideas going forward. BLESS YOU for making your life simpler, publishing this blog, and standing up for what you believe in. SHAME on Kathy and Hoda, it’s very dissappointing to see that behavior watched by the masses.

  6. says: kathy

    every since I saw this story.. I have been researching no poo.. and thanks to this story.. I too stopped washing my hair as much.. yes.. I still wash.. havn’t gone to far yet.. but I am slowly getting older in life, my hair is grey.. I always colored..and I am starting to embrace my age.. and I have found not washing my hair as much.. my hair is looking better and its clean.. yes.. so I love all you moms.. going grandma style.. we need to stick together and teach our children real values.. my daughter is 14 hair to her waist.. and she is the one who always said mom.. you wash your hair too much.. she is right.. she has beauitiful hair.. no bugs.. and she washes her hair twice a week.. so my own child taught me something too.. so my hat is off to all you moms.. not to the rich people with all their perfumes, cosmetics.. and chemicals.. out with the chemicals.. no more..

    1. says: kathy

      same here.. days I don’t wash.. I pile it high into a beautiful bun on my head .. and wear pretty clips.. when I take it down.. my husband loves it.. he tells me how he loves my natural beauty every day.. we are the new generation…

  7. says: Shelby

    I don’t wash my hair every day. I shower daily, but my hair is a whole other story. I’m new to the whole natural lifestyle. I’m slowly changing out my conventional products as I use them up, for more natural alternatives.

    I like to think I’m a healthy mix of conventional and natural.
    My children are fully vaccinated, because when they were infants, I worked in a hospital and I didn’t take chances on bringing anything home to them.
    I keep a bottle of Motrin in my cabinet, just in case.
    However, I also focus on feeding my kids REAL food, and use natural remedies for most things.

    The point is, it doesn’t matter how you choose to live your life. Crunchy, conventional, whatever…
    There is NEVER an excuse to bully someone about the way they choose to live their lives.
    My good friends kids aren’t vaccinated at all. I don’t necessarily agree, but those kids are fed and loved and its NONE OF MY BUSINESS!

    Sometimes, none of my business is a beautiful thing.

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