Black women have long been maligned for their thick, lush, untamable strands of hair. Haters have claimed that black women’s hair looks unkempt, and this disheveled look doesn’t look smart.
For these narrow minded people, the only acceptable type of hair in a workplace setting is the slick straight hair signature of white people. (Come to think of it, the only things acceptable in most places are signatures of white people).
An MBA student was flabbergasted when she found out that a Google search for "unprofessional hairstyles for work" yielded images of only black women. Intrigued, she decided to find out what constituted "professional hairstyles."
I saw a tweet saying "Google unprofessional hairstyles for work". I did. Then I checked the 'professional' ones ?????? pic.twitter.com/5KLg7FZ6Hq— Rosalia (@BonKamona) April 5, 2016
People of the internet, who exist in a post-slavery, post-'60s world, went into a meltdown.
The message seemed to be clear. If you wanted to carve out a safe space for yourself today, you will have to obliterate every trace of blackness on your body.
But as the storm calmed, many decided to dig deeper and realized that the unprofessional hairstyle photos featuring black women came from articles bashing workplaces for deriding black hair.
The fact that many images stemmed from well-meaning, sane articles does nothing but reinforce the point that signs of black identity, the braids, the deadlocks, are still considered backward by many.
In 2015, college graduate Lara Odoffin was asked by a potential employer to get rid of her braids or lose out on the job.
Also, in 2015, Simone Powerley was asked to let go of her braids if she wanted to work for a modeling agency.
A simple Google search has brought to light a problematic belief that is so widespread that it’s considered normal. While white boys whine about cultural Nazis (never a good word to use for someone who only bashes you on Facebook) who wouldn’t let them put their hair in dreadlocks, black women are actually targeted for not abandoning their culture.
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