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  1. #31
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    Everytime someone pops up on the board asking this question I will give the same answer and it is based on over 20 years of working IN Corporate America. I've worn my hair nappy for 12 years - and even when I was still perming, I wore braids.

    The reason people are still coming on here in 2007 asking if they should perm their naps for a job interview is because they aren't hearing what I posted enough. These people who are afraid not to straighten their hair need to hear from people who have actually been in the trenches that WE are the ones who care. Your fear lasted longer than it had to because you didn't have someone to break it down and tell you the truth. Black folks are driving all this hooplah about our hair. Lack of self-confidence will hurt your career much more than refusing to fry your hair with Draino.

    A lot more women would be unplugged from the Matrix if they talked to people who have actually been nappy in Corporate America rather than reading articles from people who are afraid to try it. But let's not underestimate the fact that plenty of black women don't find natural hair attractive and they can blame it on fear of white folks, but the truth is they'd just rather have long straight hair because some of them just think it looks better and no one gives a rat's butt about their fried hair but them.
    [/b]
    I gotcha. I think we agree more than not. I agree it's a choice. I agree that some black women just don't like and probably will never like nappy hair. However, like they say, "where you stand depends on where you sit". We're coming at the same issues from different perspectives.

    But that's the thing. You've been out there for 12 years. I've been out there for about the same amount of time, but my mind was still warped around this "I gotta look this way and I can't look this way" kind of thinking. So you kept rocking it nappy or braiding it. I kept switching back and forth and was scared to death to let anyone see my hair in between getting it braided.

    It's just I feel that saying it's merely a choice really slices away the cultural and socialogical underpinnings which makes a lot of us think it's this huge issue when no one really cares but us. Culture and social issues are huge. They can cause high level negotiations to fold. I think to minimize their impact on these daily choices is actually denying a lot of what's going on.

    I mean yeah "it's just hair". But for blacks we're talking about a big amount of attention and money being heaped on something that's being characterized as a choice. Choice is part of it, but it's intellectually dishonest to say it's just that.

    The counter-point example I use on my blog is a choice is deciding between Chinese chicken salad or Caesar salad. That's an easy choice. However, when I finally got to the enough with hiding my hair, I came to Nappturality, I clicked around, I read some stuff, I went to other sites and it took me a good week to decide "let's do this." But it was how many years of me getting there? The nappy hair choice was hard for me and I'm a pretty smart person. This isn't about intelligence or even self-esteem on some level. I was also a pretty hot mama and I was dating up a storm. However, I'd never let whatever guy I was seeing see my hair between braiding it.

    That's freakishly weird and I'm glad I'm out of it, but it's very hard and I know I'm not the only one. That's particularly true if you have no one to turn to for support and advice. It's getting better now, but still. What about those women who don't have net access? If I weren't plugged in, I'd probably STILL be in the Matrix. I think I'd be ready to come out, but who knows?

    Salad is an issue free choice. Hair should be, but, for a lot of us, it's not issue free. It should be. It should be that some black women just hate nappy hair and love straight hair.

    The choice that a lot of black women face when choosing how to do their hair so loaded with a dislike of nappy hair and a fear of what might happen should they stand up and say enough that choice is such a small part of it, it's kind of sad. The relief I had sporting nappy hair from twists to a wash and go fro has been liberating. I get it now. I didn't get it even two years ago.
    Last edited by deecoily; 10-12-2019 at 03:27 AM. Reason: ADD CURRENT LINK
    "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

  2. #32
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    Lack of self-confidence will hurt your career much more than refusing to fry your hair with Draino.

    A lot more women would be unplugged from the Matrix if they talked to people who have actually been nappy in Corporate America rather than reading articles from people who are afraid to try it. But let's not underestimate the fact that plenty of black women don't find natural hair attractive and they can blame it on fear of white folks, but the truth is they'd just rather have long straight hair because some of them just think it looks better and no one gives a rat's butt about their fried hair but them.

    [/b]
    AnaisKarim,

    Your whole ENTIRE post was on point. However, I chose to hightlight this section, and bold a few points:

    If you (anyone) walk into interview, as if you're not quite sure about your hair/appearance, that will resonate and you need to be most concerned about that.

    I also agree to be careful about talking to permed-since-they-came-out-the-womb sistas and their brainwashed male co-signers about wearing natural hair in Corporate America — they don't know, cuz they don't live it and many don't have a balanced perspective, cuz they may not like nappy hair. I mean, we got permies asking nappies to fry their hair, just to stand up in WEDDINGS. So, you know they can't help you, when it comes to how to represent at a job interview.

    There are interviewers that will have problems with you, because you're black — napps, or no napps. That's the way of the world. Yet, we all gotta work to make a living.

  3. #33
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    I just wanted to say that I really am enjoying this thread. I haven't read the actual article yet (I'm having a sort of aversion to law journal articles at the moment having just recently relinquished my post on my law journal's editorial board--ah, sweet freedom) but I plan to soon.

    I recently had an upsetting conversation with my parents when I went home for the week. First we started talking about NP (which my father referred to as a "cult" from merely reading the mission statement) then we got onto the subject of how I maintain my hair (because I don't pick it out -dry- to a BAA every day I'm not taking the best care of my hair... ) and finally we got onto the subject of my finding a job. Now, granted he wasn't trying to get me to perm or press, but he kept driving home the point that my neat puff was unprofessional and that if I was gonna get a job it was not going to be with that. He kept saying "I know the society we live in" but at the same time I'm thinking, yeah but who says it can't change? And reading AnaisKarim's posts let's me know that it already has. Because right now I'm at the place SeoulSista was--I mean I haven't straightened but I'm jobless at the moment which is freaking me out--and that convo with my parents didn't help at all. I realize they felt they were just trying to help me but I love myself this way and hearing that loving myself means remaining jobless really broke my heart. It's nice to see it written explicitly that the whole of society is not wrapped up in the texture of my hair. And it's also nice that the discussion is being put out there in law journals.
    [color=#993399]Happily Nappy since February 11, 2006.[/color]

    Formerly Rhoyalti

  4. #34
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    Now, I gotta say Bunny, that's the real deal. I would worry MORE, if my interviewer were black.
    [/b]
    When I was interviewing for a teaching position, the only place that did not offer me a position was at a charter school where I got interviewed by a pretty famous black minister and his staff...they looked at my teaching portfolio pics, which included pics of me with natural, but long hair (I had recently done a second bc)...they grilled me about why I had cut all of my hair off and was wearing a twa...never before or since have I felt that my hair kept me from getting hired, and I saw that rejection as a blessing in disguise...

    I just wanted to say that I really am enjoying this thread. I haven't read the actual article yet (I'm having a sort of aversion to law journal articles at the moment having just recently relinquished my post on my law journal's editorial board--ah, sweet freedom) but I plan to soon.

    I recently had an upsetting conversation with my parents when I went home for the week. First we started talking about NP (which my father referred to as a "cult" from merely reading the mission statement) then we got onto the subject of how I maintain my hair (because I don't pick it out -dry- to a BAA every day I'm not taking the best care of my hair... ) and finally we got onto the subject of my finding a job. Now, granted he wasn't trying to get me to perm or press, but he kept driving home the point that my neat puff was unprofessional and that if I was gonna get a job it was not going to be with that. He kept saying "I know the society we live in" but at the same time I'm thinking, yeah but who says it can't change? And reading AnaisKarim's posts let's me know that it already has. Because right now I'm at the place SeoulSista was--I mean I haven't straightened but I'm jobless at the moment which is freaking me out--and that convo with my parents didn't help at all. I realize they felt they were just trying to help me but I love myself this way and hearing that loving myself means remaining jobless really broke my heart. It's nice to see it written explicitly that the whole of society is not wrapped up in the texture of my hair. And it's also nice that the discussion is being put out there in law journals.
    [/b]
    when I was preparing to interview for teaching jobs I was told by my field director that my hair was the most appropiate for interviews (I had huge low puff) than all the white girls cause their hair was too long (it made them look young and unprofeesional according to the director)

  5. #35
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    I know a guy who has a huge fro, he's had it all during undergrad and grad school. When started going on interviews, most people (black) kept telling him to cut his hair (he had a huge BAA). He went on a couple of interviews and did not get hired. People kept telling him it was because of the hair. One day I got a call from him and he said he got a job with Motorola, a great job with a signing bonus and, he still had his hair. This was the mid 90s by the way. In 2001, my niece with a BAA and MA in hand went job hunting. She interviewed at Motorola and was hired on the spot. They even offered her husband a job and he wasn't even looking for one. I have a problem with people thinking their natural hair will be a deal breaker when it comes to getting hired.
    A good day on the spectrum.

  6. #36
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    my hair has never been an issue getting a job or on the job.

  7. #37
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    I recently had an upsetting conversation with my parents when I went home for the week. First we started talking about NP (which my father referred to as a "cult" from merely reading the mission statement) then we got onto the subject of how I maintain my hair (because I don't pick it out -dry- to a BAA every day I'm not taking the best care of my hair... ) and finally we got onto the subject of my finding a job. Now, granted he wasn't trying to get me to perm or press, but he kept driving home the point that my neat puff was unprofessional and that if I was gonna get a job it was not going to be with that. He kept saying "I know the society we live in" but at the same time I'm thinking, yeah but who says it can't change? And reading AnaisKarim's posts let's me know that it already has. Because right now I'm at the place SeoulSista was--I mean I haven't straightened but I'm jobless at the moment which is freaking me out--and that convo with my parents didn't help at all. I realize they felt they were just trying to help me but I love myself this way and hearing that loving myself means remaining jobless really broke my heart. It's nice to see it written explicitly that the whole of society is not wrapped up in the texture of my hair. And it's also nice that the discussion is being put out there in law journals.
    [/b]
    Well, from that perspective of support, don't do it. We know our parents want the best for us, but as great as they can be, many times they're wrong.

    As Anais Karim says what I lacked was role models and she's right. I was thinking about it yesterday after she and I discussed it (geez, the net is cool :blush: ). I'd left my notebook in my class and went back to get it. I was all dressed up professional and was rockin' my nappy hair. I was passing other professors and they're really friendly where I work so people are greeting me and no one, no one gives :2cents: about my hair. I mean, like I'd written, I would have laughed to think I'd get positive feedback for my naps, but I do quite a bit.

    I mean I wasn&#39;t the only black female law student and they all went straight for interviews, literally. <_< However, I think even if one had not, that could have gotten the ball rolling. Maybe you can be that one. As others are chiming in, just know your hair isn&#39;t going to be a factor (except in the off case that your interviewer is black and is still plugged into the Matrix ) Also, when it comes to change, I think we need to know that there will be those off cases and we need to be those black interviewers. Those people who can interview another nappy and not freak out because of their hair style.

    Mae&#39;s story I think gets right to it. What does it matter she cut her hair if she was otherwise qualified? I, agree, not getting that job was a blessing in disguise. That&#39;s the subtext I&#39;m talking about. That subtext a lot of black people carrying around makes this way more charged that it has to be.

    Oh, the article is really short, it&#39;s not a typical law school journal article (long and usually really dull). I think this particular journal might publish shorter articles. ^_^
    "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

  8. #38
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    There was a thread in the loc forum about working as a nurse/doctor a while ago. I am not sure, but I think the idea was that the hair was not really an issue. I only got compliments on my locs, and they are less than a year old. Most of my time spent at the hospital, my roots were puffy, and my hair was &#39;big&#39;. Maybe I&#39;m not getting reprimanded about the hair because I volunteer there, but still. :P

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Law Journal Article: The Hair Dilemma: Conform To Mainstream Expectations Or Emph

    "The truth is, your natural hair, in all its texture, is the hair that is ideal for YOU.."
    ~Dee~


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