About 5 months ago, I uprooted my life moving from Boston to Florida in conquest of follow my dreams of being a journalist. The school that I was to be attending was there although I am an online student and its closer to my family. Upon my arrival to Florida I began job searching and my cousin whom I live with gave me a lead for his job. A few days before my interview, I asked my cousin do you think I should get my hair straightened? Would my natural hair be okay? I then thought, why am I questioning myself this is how my hair is, naturally, I didn’t purposely make it this way, and do other black women do the same? Is it possible that my hair could be a huge factor in an interview and possibly cost me a job that I’m completely qualified for?
After thoroughly thinking about this I decided to do some research and realized that even though a dress code should not discriminate under title VII of the civil rights act of 1964 its unfortunate that many insistent dress codes includes provisions that adversely affects minorities. So why is it that straight hair is deemed more suitable than natural hair? When fighting for the right to wear natural hair to work, the question still remains, do we step up to an employer when we feel discriminated against and risk loosing our jobs? Or do we become a conformant to the “rules and regulations” and keep quite when we feel discrimination in order to not fell as though we’re bringing any “controversy” to the work place. What it boils down to is the austerity of corporate America and employers to comprehend why we choose to wear our hair in its natural state and in styles that allow us to best upkeep our natural hair, rather than wearing it relaxed or constantly straightening it.
“In reality, how I dress and my hairstyle should not indicate to you my capacity to fulfill a job, but you have to make real conscious choices. We always will have to wear a mask. It hurts me to say that, but that seems to be the reality.” – Williams-Witherspoon