Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Natural in Corporate America

Recently I was on YouTube having what my cousin Cris and I call "natural hair church" and I noticed a couple of videos that were about styles that are suitable for "conservative corporate America". I somewhat understand why there is a need but in watching the videos I became very conflicted. The reason being is because in 2012, those of us that chose to be natural feel the need to still "tame" our hair by tucking, pinning, and whatever else as to not offend anyone or make them uncomfortable.

This is very disheartening to me. More and more women are choosing to become natural, all for various reasons and I can just about guarantee that "what others may think or feel" had very little to do with that decision. I love my hair just the way that it is (which was a process that you can read about here), wild, carefree, healthy, and most importantly, me! Natural hair doesn't make a woman unprofessional. It doesn't make her any less efficient at doing her job. It doesn't mean that in the middle of a meeting she is going to jump on top of a table and start yelling, "Black Power" with her fist in the air (which I know a couple of people at my job is afraid I am going to do). It doesn't even make her "afro-centric", whatever the hell that is suppose to mean (I am going to scream if someone else says that to me). Most often, it simply means that she is comfortable in her own skin and hair.

There is one lady that I know who is uncomfortable with my natural hair and feels that it should be slicked back or straight. She has never said that to me personally but it is all over her face and fake smile when she says hi. The only time that she says more than hi to me and comes to my desk for a chat, is when I get a sew-in and the hair is either straight or wavy. If it is big and curly, she sticks with her hi and fake smile. I don't understand how natural hair can offend anyone, or even make them nervous and uncomfortable. To me, that person is simple minded and needs to get out in the world more. It is not like there is a large middle finger shaved or braided into the back of my head. I do nothing to make her or anyone else feel like their hair is wrong. Yet, society as a whole feels that natural hair is wrong.

This is a time when the work place is suppose to be embracing diversity. I guess some people think that doesn't cover how one wears their hair. It took to long for me to embrace my hair to apologize to someone else for my hair being the way that it is. I saw this one Facebook a few weeks ago (posted by Black Women with Real Hair) and it is exactly how I feel (p.s. I would love for my fro to get this big):

Photo: Please Share!

Until next time loves!!!!