Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm no one's puppet...

As if it were meant for me to see, that episode of Living Single where Kyle was suggested to get rid of his locs to move up in his company popped up on my DVR.

---actually it's been on there since early December but I don't turn my TV on enough to know these things.

I found the dialogue between Khadijah and Kyle so powerful!

Khadijah: "Kyle, you must know if you're going to work in the corporate world sometimes you have to confirm to get ahead."

Kyle: "So you would change your hairstyle, uh?"

Khadijah: "Hell no. That's why I went in business for myself...I'm no one's puppet."

WOW. Really? To my natural ladies....do you conform to look more professional? Do you toss your hair under a wig, in weave or straighten solely for the "professional look"?

Hmm...I think this is SUCH an interesting topic. And at the end of the day, while I won't judge anyone's decision, I know I would NEVER not be the real me for any job. Then again...that's why I went in business for myself. :) Part-time, at least.


...and why didn't anybody tell me Living Single, Season 1 was on DVD?!!
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Nickelicious said...

Hey girl, I am with you 100%- there is no way I will change me for you. Meaning, I will not cut my locs simply because "the job" is ignorant to natural hair. I work in Corporate America and my job breathes on professionalism. I found (by watching youtube) that there are so many hairstyles that can keep you looking professional. While I take advantage of these styles, a lot of times I freestyle as well. Corporate American can kiss my ____ if they can't accept me for who I am. I have been working on going into business for myself but it's slow due to lack of time. So I say to corporate America "go ahead and fire me, make my day".

Lagenious aka LaBrooklyn said...

I second what Nickelicious said. I look clean, neat, and styled from (loc'd) head to toe. I work in NYC and currently I am the receptionist for my office so I am the first thing people see when they walk in the door. I plan to attend graduate school in the near future and will continue to rock styles that make ME feel confident. Don't sweat the small things in life, that includes small minded people.

max said...

I'm almost scared to admit this to you Britney, but I do. I have natural hair but when I'm in the corporate world I wear it straight or I wear it up. I do not bounce around my workplace with my 4C curls flying free. I hate myself for it sometimes, but I really do feel it's necessary.
In my defense, I live in Canada, where things are a bit different than in the US. Racism here is much more subtle and ingrained, most people in the corporate world are at least a little racist and they really, truly, don't realize it. And there are so few Black people in the corporate world here that I really feel like I can't afford to take the chance of missing opportunities or not being taken seriously because of my hair.
I recognize that my natural hair is beautiful and wonderful and all that, but I'm not going to celebrate my hair at the expense of other aspects of my life, and I really do feel that in my city, in my industry, and this particular point in time, that's what it would be. But I applaud and congratulate Kyle and others like him who refuse to change just to get ahead. They're better people than I.

so blu is ninja too said...

I discovered something today. When I was first seen at my workplace about a year ago I had 9 months babies and people were assuming lots of thing about me, including I was a drug addict and such ignorant things.
I realised that in west Africa locs are not welcomed, except if you are coming from the USA.
I cut my locs some months ago. Just because I had soo many negative memories with it.

Just now I want to be marketable so I don't think that in my country it is possible to have locs and get ahead.
I am stuck.
I am right know with a weave. Braids (cornrows , plaits, twists..) are ok, but 'fro's?
I have to go with the flow for now.

dalia said...

i remember this episode. i have also had this discussion with friends of mine. when i had an afro i wore wigs to interviews, and once i got the job, i was all fro all the time. my hair was big and distracting, and instead of pulling it into a bun (which was too much work for my lazy behind), i would just keep my night-time two-strand twists in and pop a wig on over them.

when i wore braids i kept them loose.

now that i have locs, i would just updo them. in toronto, where i'm from originally, locs don't raise anyone's eyebrows. but then again, i work in creative environments, where tattoos, facial piercings and green hair are also the norm.

i couldn't be corporate because i don't even want, for ONE second, to have to deal with pressure (implicit or otherwise) to change my hair to conform, get ahead, or make others comfortable.