Naturally at Work

Back in December I read an article about Rhonda Lee,  a meteorologist who was fired, not because she cut her long permed straight hair, but because some moron made rude and racial comments to her on a social media site (FACEBOOK). And well…..like I would have, she responded ever so elegantly. Unfortunately the TV station claims they have a policy saying that no one is to engage in social media of that nature, that she did or did not see. (I know clear as mud)

Anyways. A fellow blogger got me thinking of her again, so I followed up on her story and found this article from Essence and checked up on her via her FB and sadly enough she hasn’t been scooped up for employment yet. But on a positive note, she still practices meteorology and gives off such a positive demeanor. I’m sure things will work out for her. I mean its just hair and if shes really great  at what she does and as passionate about it as she appears, she’ll come out on top.

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And now I must rant =/

This irritates the crap out of me. Who defines what is beautiful. I am not at all debating whether or not she was fired legally or not, I’m just expressing that its soooo disappointingly real. Like people really have issues and are effected with hair texture to the point that they cannot get the weather. Why do people seriously feel the need to comment about black women’s hair. I am not the person to make thing about race, so if you’re reading this and happen to not be black and have kinky unruly hair, this includes you too. I served on Active duty for 12 years and 6 of them I was natural. Because of the regulations that are set for hair, I had an interesting time getting my hair together. I know for a fact that it makes women not even bother. I’ve witnessed a female in a leadership position (of mixed race, with finer, wavy hair) tell a Jr. person that she needed to perm or press her hair out so she can look more professional in her uniform because her TWA was not it (which was pressed down to be within 2inch, for those of you that know Navy regs)…I will never understand why its not considered acceptable for a women to have natural hair with a kinky or courser texture in a “professional working environment”. This women, whose hair was shaven very low was told that her hair didn’t fit because (in my words) she didn’t have long flowing hair. And because the young lady I served with had an afro, shes considered wrong.

For the meteorologist, her defending herself cost her her job, for my fellow shipmate, she eventually gave in and relaxed her hair……SMH.   I’ve know women to have to wear wigs to cover their locs, to include my best friend who was forced to cut hers.  I hear of women being apprehensive of wearing natural hair to their offices so they don’t bother with transitioning to maintain face. And even myself; when I transitioned, I transitioned the long way of straightening my hair out until it was long enough to wear into a bun partially, because I didn’t want to deal with the backlash and drama of a big chop. Resulting in my hair being very damaged from all of the heat and and then me constantly pulling and tugging on it to get my super thick hair into buns everyday. I remember getting to my new command late at night, so I was still in my street cloths and had may hair in its natural free flowing state, when someone said to me, “I hope you don’t plan on wearing your hair like that to work…..”

I know I keep saying and I will continue until someone helps me get it.  I will never understand WHY should anyone be ashamed of the way hair grows out of their head and why does anyone feel they have the need to comment or question???!!!!

I am very fortunate to have an employer today that cares more about my work ethic than the grade of my naps. As a matter of fact, when I wear my wigs (Yep. I sure do) some ask what happened to my fro. So yes, there is hope for the rest of the world. There is plenty =)

My best advice for ladies who are concerned about their hair in a working environment that may be a little “stiff” is to find cute conservative styles. I wouldn’t go all fro’d out and fierce. Know your office and what is considered normal there and tailor your hair around that as best and comfortably as you can. For example, my office I wear a tamed fro, but if I hava an important meeting, I would make sure its pulled out of my face and pinned neatly. Use your best judgment. Also be confident, because their is going to be that one person that HAS to have something to say.

Just don’t let your hair in the work place defeated by you.

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