Natural Hair in the Workplace?: A Rant

My mom was telling me that I should flat-iron my hair for interviews, because the interviewer might have a bias against “ethnic” hairstyles.  It got me thinking… I tried to flat-iron my hair, and it achieved the same results that braiding or twisting it overnight would- my curls are stubborn (like me!).  I just had this gigantic afro that was like a corona.

I asked myself- “what other “ethnic” group has “ethnic” hairstyles that are discriminated against in the workplace?”  I racked my brain and came up with no answers.

I REFUSE to submit to this fear of discrimination.  If I would be discriminated against for my HAIR, regardless of my clear talents, accomplishments and qualifications, maybe I don’t NEED to work there!  I’m certain that God has a place for me and I do not believe that something as small (in the scheme of things) as my hair (which is NOT political) will inhibit my success.

What speaks volumes is my comfort in my skin.  I do not need to straighten my hair to feel more “acceptable” or to conform to euro-centric aesthetic ideals.  The fact that I can walk in with confidence, knowing that I am qualified for the position should override any bigot’s doubts about my competency.  What does my hair texture have to do with my competency?  Besides, I think the thousands of dollars I would have spent on my hair (weaves, hot oil treatments, salons, perms) would be better used in my savings account.   I truly believe that I am better off now that I am not pouring thousands of $ into dangerous (possibly carcinogenic) chemicals on my hair and weakening it and stripping it of moisture.  I’ll pass!

Forget that!

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