Friday, August 16, 2019

I Am Not My Hair: Police Me Not

Courtesy of Project Embrace
Back to school season has arrived. As if its not enough fulfilling school lists and figthing crowds for uniforms arent enough to keep parents busy, they must now also contend with what hairstyles violate school dress codes. For many people of color living and working in predominantly white spaces, its not difficult to imagine being told that the way your natural hair grows violates a school or place of business dress code or policy of professionalism. Furthermore, what perpetuates this narrative is the lack of afro textured hair in mainstream media and marketing. While there is a rise in women of status appearing in advertisements rocking their natural hair, there are still deficits in women sporting natural hair on large and very public platforms.
Whispering Roots Hair Care

For those of African descent, hairstyles associated with ethnic identity have often been singled out and targeted for discrimination. Across the United States, discrimination on the basis of hair is fleeting topic of discussion. California and New York are among the first to ban discrimination on the basis of hair. The New York City Commission of Human Rights states that the same law that prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, or religion applies to hair, which is ultimately an extension and intrinsic part of black identity. People across the country have reported various bouts of discrimination regarding their natural hairstyles and are often forced to cut it off or change it to "meet" codes of dress and/or professionalism.

For black people, hair is symbolic and a huge stance against the violation of civil rights. It is the rebellion whiteness and for a long time a stance against assimilation. In the event that you are
worried about your child's hair violating existing dress codes, it is suggested that you stand to break boundaries and change the perception, one coil at a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment