Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fitting in with natural hair....

The job that I have now requires that I dress professionally. I wear dress shoes/heels everyday and I generally wear dress pants, skirts, blouses, dresses and suits. I never complain because I prefer dressing this way. Business chic is totally my style.

So is bohem-hippie but I only bring that out on the weekends. :)

I first went natural I was in college. This was the PERFECT time to be free with my hair. I would rock an enormous fro some days and two strand twists other days. I did the fro-hawk and I would dye it at even given moment. I never thought that my hair wasn't professional. I was able to get business internships and even a management position. I went on several interviews rocking my fro and never thought that I was being judged. I was young then and in my early 20's so this, of course, was appropriate..... [EDIT--did I really type that? Why should my age determine what hairstyles are appropriate? Are fro-hawks inappropriate for 30 and up? Hells no. Can't believe I wrote that. Bad B.]

When I graduated from college, I got serious about being taken seriously. I traded my flip flops for cute sandals. I stopped wearing t-shirts in public and started wearing cute blouses and baby doll tees. I also stopped wearing my hair all wild and settled for nice and neat afro puffs and twists. Ironically enough the only time I felt that my hair was an issue was when I was around "majority Black" settings. Ain't that something?

If at a moment's notice I have to attend a luncheon or meeting, I always HOPE my hair is "neat" enough. That the frizziness isn't as bad. Sometimes I will even re-twist a few locs to ensure that I look professional.

I hate that I have to do this. This is something I will need to get used to because although I'm not sure I'll have locs forever, I know for a fact that I'm not getting a perm ever again. I wish that I felt confident with my natural hair at all times, but I don't. Some times I'll feel dynamic for being the only "nappy head" in the room and other times I feel as if people immediately judge me. It's sad that I feel way and am trying to shake it. But am I the one that needs shaking?

Or do the views of Black women and their natural hair need some shaking?

Hmmm....

Check this vid:



13 comments:

adriene said...

I'm sooo glad you touched this subject. This is something I think about alot. I still have a perm but, I want to bc (by the end of Sept.) I'm currently unemployed and I wonder how I'll perceived by employers once I bc.

Amina said...

so far no one told me anything my hair...
like you i only realized i have natural hair when i am around blacks and get so many stares or the when are you going to relax question

Lady Kinnks said...

its hard for people to understand this extra judgment, until they've felt it them-self..thanks for sharing :o)

Lady Kinnks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bsquared86 said...

Great post!

My 2 cents:

Don't hold yourself back. don't get caught up in your head trying to figure out what THEY think and what THEIR opinion will be. if you rock your fro/locs/twists with confidence, all will be well. If not, do you really want to enter into an environment where people care more about your hair than your ability and potential?

The way we force OTHERS to accept and embrace our beauty as "normal," "neat," and "professional" is to give them no choice! This is your hair! As much time and money we spend on our hair, keeping it healthy, clean, and thriving, we deserve to be able to show it! The more we show no fear or hesitation when baring our natural beauty, the more it will become common place and you'll "blend in" (if that's your intent).

Serving Christ said...

Hey Beautiful,

Great post! As women, African American women, we have to embrace our own diversity. We are different and have something so very unique, special and phenomenal to add to to any organization. Never lose your grip on how special you are regardless of your diversity or the way others will or will not embrace. The reality is that others will not always embrace it, but it is who you are. That is not to say that we can't make adjustments, if we choose to, but the key words are "choose to" for us.

Stand strong and keep looking beautiful and rocking the style that works for you. Whether permed, natural or whatever, you will always be beautiful, smart and an asset to any organization, so ROCK IT GIRL!!

Cheers!

Felicia said...

We still have so far to go in self-love and self-acceptance. I believe that confidence is the most beautiful outfit that you can wear. Sure, you can wear what is considered "acceptable" to what people expect all hair to be, but then when and how can people know or change? Maybe you will be the first woman they meet with locks and become the means to change whatever sterotype they may have believed. If you are wearing your locks because you love your natural healthy hair, then you will be accepted. However, if it because of rebellion or a fad or phase that you are going through, then you probably will struggle. I think that your hair is beautiful amd I would hire you. Be confident, be blessed. I think that every natural girl has felt what you feel.

B said...

Thank y'all for reading and commenting. I think it's important to discuss issues like this as it relates to natural hair (any beyond). Lord knows I've been feelin' this way quite some time.

EmberRose said...

On one hand I like the fact that you posted this but on the other hand I'm tired of seeing this subject. It needs to be discussed but at the same time I'm sick to death of it being an issue. Hair is hair and as long as it's groomed it shouldn't be an issue. The subject makes me feel conflicted.

B said...

EmberRose---> You're right. Lately Black hair has gotten so much news. It's a bit on overload but I'd rather that than nothing at all. Knowledeg is power. An overbundance of knowledge can be annoying but it is still powerful.

Unfortunately, a lot of what Black people do, think, wear, say and how they feel and live will ALWAYS be an issue. It isn't something that can be escaped. While I know I'm not looking for a "Whoa is me, poor Black girl" pity party, I pride myself on smash stereotypes and helping people feel better about themselves. We need it!

Minister Mechelle said...

New reader, here! :)

I think your transparency is great and reflects thoughts we ALL have from time to time, whether we are natural or not. We are all insecure about something.

So, remember that when you walk into a room or if you're around other women who aren't natural.. they're all insecure about something too. You'll find out if you dig deep enough.

'An imperfect me serving a perfect God.' Nuff said.

B said...

Minister Mechelle---> Thank you so much for strollin' on by to LocRocker. You're the best. :)

And you're right....being insecure=being human. It's not something to be ashamed but I like talking about mine so that they don't become issues later on. LOL. Your insight makes it easier.

*hugs*

Evil said...

I have to say when I look at a black woman with natural hair I see a powerfull woman that demands respect, a strong woman who knows what she wants.
When i see a black woman with a weave or perm i see a woman. Not that a woman is a bad thing but the hair does not hold as much power behind it.