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  1. #21
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    However, there is my dilemma. I'm looking for a job right now. At first I thoght I waould wear my afro and everything would be ok. This and other things that I've heard recently make me believe that I may have to straighten my hair for interviews.
    [/b]
    Quick question... who is telling you things that would make you believe you have to straighten your hair? Black people?

    I've found that black people will be the first (and oftentimes, only) ones to say this... while I have asked white and Asian friends for their honest beliefs on black hair in the workplace and they say they really think that black people take this whole "straight is better" thing too far. My friends (who would give it to me straight) say they aren't hardly thinking about black hair and they find that black people's "warnings" are usually just projection.

    The only people who've told me that my hair might be an issue are black people. But the white folks hiring me have never had a problem.

  2. #22
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    Quick question... who is telling you things that would make you believe you have to straighten your hair? Black people?

    I've found that black people will be the first (and oftentimes, only) ones to say this... while I have asked white and Asian friends for their honest beliefs on black hair in the workplace and they say they really think that black people take this whole "straight is better" thing too far. My friends (who would give it to me straight) say they aren't hardly thinking about black hair and they find that black people's "warnings" are usually just projection.

    The only people who've told me that my hair might be an issue are black people. But the white folks hiring me have never had a problem.
    [/b]
    Now, I gotta say Bunny, that's the real deal. I would worry MORE, if my interviewer were black.

  3. #23
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    Quick question... who is telling you things that would make you believe you have to straighten your hair? Black people?

    I've found that black people will be the first (and oftentimes, only) ones to say this... while I have asked white and Asian friends for their honest beliefs on black hair in the workplace and they say they really think that black people take this whole "straight is better" thing too far. My friends (who would give it to me straight) say they aren't hardly thinking about black hair and they find that black people's "warnings" are usually just projection.
    The only people who've told me that my hair might be an issue are black people. But the white folks hiring me have never had a problem.
    [/b]
    Cosign....
    [SIZE=2][color=#663366]My personal style: Bohemian Glamour![/color]

    Date of last and final chemical fire cream: [color=#CC6600]September 16, 2005[/color]
    Date of Big Chop: [color=#6600CC]July 26, 2006 (10-month transition)[/color]

    "I am sure that God Who began the good work in me will keep on working in me until the day Jesus Christ comes again." (Philippians 1:6; New Life Version)[/SIZE]

  4. #24
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    Now, I gotta say Bunny, that's the real deal. I would worry MORE, if my interviewer were black.
    [/b]
    Yep yep. Now, I know that there will be some non-black interviewers out there who "might" have a problem, I don't really worry about them. I just don't think they see our hair with the same cultural baggage that we do and probably look at natural hair as just another hairstyle, not a specific "statement" or a sign that a woman is "ungroomed" or whatever.

    Here's another issue I've discovered. The guy I'm talking to now (black) said that he and other black men generally keep their hair short in the work force so not to be seen as "threatening" because you know how white folks can be. I said, "Well, honestly, I don't think it's that deep. I think it's more of OUR issue with our hair than white folks' issues. Have you ever had a white person tell you this?"

    He admitted he hadn't -- he'd only heard this "warning" from black people.

    We are in the same profession and I pointed out that my white boss hired a black man with dreadlocks and that man is now working at one of the top companies in our field. My friend said, "oh yeah, I know that guy." I also mentioned that I have a white female friend in this business who is always telling a black male co-worker that he should grow his hair out because it looks nice, but he's always like, "No no no."

    I told her some of the reasons he might have been afraid to do so and she said, "I can't believe that anyone would think that white people are "threatened" by 1 inch of hair!!!!"

    So I went back and told my male friend this and he was like, "Hmm... maybe this is our issue."

    Anyway, thanks RelaxerRehab for the article! I wish it -- or others -- would include input from non-black people who make hiring decisions to see if they really view this hair thing with the same lens and if they think that black people are making waaaaay too much of a big deal about it.

  5. #25
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  6. #26
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    Quick question... who is telling you things that would make you believe you have to straighten your hair? Black people?

    I've found that black people will be the first (and oftentimes, only) ones to say this... while I have asked white and Asian friends for their honest beliefs on black hair in the workplace and they say they really think that black people take this whole "straight is better" thing too far. My friends (who would give it to me straight) say they aren't hardly thinking about black hair and they find that black people's "warnings" are usually just projection.

    The only people who've told me that my hair might be an issue are black people. But the white folks hiring me have never had a problem.
    [/b]
    IA, also, when I go on an interview I'm more concerned about whether the employer thinks Im a whore, lazy, uneducated, stupid, hyper-confrontational, ghetto hot mess black woman than my hair.
    My fotki!
    ~small June update~

  7. #27
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    i'll never forget my last job interview. i asked about the companies hair policy. the interviewer, a white woman looked at me and said, as long as you don't wear really big hair with peacock colors you'll be fine. i knew exactly what she was talking about because the micky ds across the street had a cashier with fried and weaved purple, orange and green hair as tall as marge simpsons. i'll never worry about my natural hair.
    A good day on the spectrum.

  8. #28
    chinani is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    Thanks for sharing. It was an informative read but nothing new to me. I am glad it's getting greater circulation b/c maybe then people can think more about their "unconscious" choices.

    While reading I thought:
    I've been conditioned. Even my conditioning has been conditioned.[/b]
    Blackstar's "Brown Skin Lady"

  9. #29
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    Well, it's not new to us. However, I know it grates on my last nerve when I try to discuss the issue with people of other races and they reduce it to choice.

    There is much more than that going on. In fact, I just had an exchange like that on my blog. She's a really nice lady. She found my blog because she spent some time in Korea when her husband was in the service. However, she's not black. That much I know because her response to a post I did on the nappy hair topic got replies like "oh well, we have that too." I'm nice about it because I realize she just doesn't get the depth and doesn't understand the culture.

    However, these law review articles reach a wide audience. We know, but others need to know and understand too. I'm glad she posted it here, but I'm really glad that it got published in a national law school's law review journal. Granted it's a specialized journal, but that means people studying that topic will read it regardless of race. They'll learn something, so maybe next year when I post a blog about nappy hair there will be a few less people who don't initially get the point.
    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese Proverb

    "Fall seven times a day, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

    “All truth is good, but not all truth is good to say.” - African Proverb

  10. #30
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    Black women are straightening their hair because they WANT to. Because they find it more attractive than their natural hair. I don't think that HR departments are having round tables about the affects of black women's natural hair on the business. I see fros, locs, braids and twists up in here regularly and no one is looking at them cross-eyed but US.

    We have black female execs with twas up in this bank so the ones who want to straighten because of "white pressure" need to try their own hair before they conclude that someone else even gives a rat's butt that they don't use draino on their scalp every 6 weeks. Big companies with reputations at stake aren't risking their name in the paper beside the term EEOC over black women refusing to use caustic chemicals. We just need to proudly wear our natural hair and do our jobs to the best of our ability. Ditch the fear and be yourself.
    [/b]
    Um, I get that. White folks don't care. I know this.

    However, there is more to it than that.

    I didn't straighten my hair in law school because I wanted to. I straightened it because I had deluded myself into thinking that was one part of a "professional" image. Was it wrong? Yes Was that silly? Yes. However, how many threads pop up on the natural hair board or the education and employment board talking about professional options for nappy hair?

    There is a reason for it. You might be super dooper strong. You clearly have seen the light prior than others, but I remember what it was like being there in the Matrix. To reduce it to a choice leaves out the major issue that black people have internalized this mess so deeply that we can't even see it's US. Most think corporate America or corporate wherever won't accept them. It will. We don't accept ourselves.

    Imagine my shock the first time I chopped my hair off years ago. Everyone thought it was great. However, it was my mother who looked at me, her face dropped and she called me stupid. The next morning she came around and realized I could carry off a TWA, but it took her having to come around. White moms might be upset if their daughter cuts off her hair but unless it's the day before the prom or something I doubt they get called stupid because, yeah, it's a choice.

    As cool as my mom was, she was in the Matrix too. I was still there because I was in college and I won't lie, I thought straighter hair looked better. As soon as I got a little length, I slapped the chemicals right back on. Hell, what did I know? I'd never seen my dang hair. I knew it wasn't working. My hair was fried and it didn't matter how mild the formula was or how many wraps I did.

    In law school it was an issue of money and time. I had very little of both. I wore microbraids. My hair started growing out. I noticed all this actually pretty hair. Wow! Of course, duh, I straightened it again. That's what? Two or three cycles of cutting my hair off, growing it out and burning it off with chemicals. I started again. This time the pretty hair comes back. That gives me an idea. I start searching the net because I know that you kind find tons of info on the net. I see there are websites about nappy hair and I'm not the only one.

    I've been napptural for maybe two years now, but I've seen my progress. Last year, you'd never see me sporting the hairstyle I'm wearing today at work (a chunky fro with a headband). I went to class this morning and my students cooed saying I looked pretty. I think 10 years ago had you told me that I wouldn't have believed you. Some people move along faster than others.

    I'm sorry, it's not merely a choice. Choice is part of it for sure. No one puts a gun to your head and says go get get a box of Dark and Lovely or go to the salon to get your scalp burnt again. There is much more going on.

    Once you get to where we are, yes, it's a choice. However, most black people (not just black women) are snugly plugged into the Matrix.
    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese Proverb

    "Fall seven times a day, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

    “All truth is good, but not all truth is good to say.” - African Proverb

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