A flight attendant reported that the airline she worked for discriminated against her due to her hairstyle. She shared with the news that she was ridiculed and made fun of due to her Bantu knots. Before you answer the question in the title, read the report that was done based on her accusation.
Getting a new hairstyle many women take pride in but one woman says she showed up to work and was discriminated against.
“I’m really happy to come to work every day and when somebody laughs at your hairstyle it really brings you down,” said Erin Horn.
It was any other day at the Allegiant ticket counter at McCarran International Airport when she came in with the new hairstyle, called Bantu knots. She says she and friend spent a long time before making sure it looked perfect.
“They said that it was unprofessional, it was club hair, and that my hair is unkempt,” Horn said, even though it’s similar to a style she wore as a child.
Horn’s employer is Worldwide Flight Services, an Allegiant subcontractor. Allegiant says they hope the company would uphold the same non-discrimination standards they do.
Worldwide Flight Services has not responded to 13 Action News’ requests for comment.
My opinion in this case is that Bantu knots were not appropriate in a professional work environment just as it would not be appropriate at a formal event or gala.
I am always the one to go to bat for any child or woman who is ridiculed or discriminated against because of what her hair naturally does but in this case it was a simple choice of style.
I am very sensitive to the thought that organizations should not police natural hair, once there is a target then we can all cry discrimination for sure. However, if you choose to work in an organization that prefers buns and ponytails your best recourse is to wear the bun or leave the organization.
This flight attendant should not have been ridiculed the way she was by her boss and co-workers, their choice of words are definitely unacceptable. Comment below and let us know your opinion!
Sophronia Sang says
If that’s the hairstyle in the video, it is unprofessional. You are a grown woman and that is a kiddy hairstyle. One bun up top would have been better.
Ro Jenny Jacks says
I 100% agree with you. Her hair looks uncombed and unkempt to me.
Nebronna Adams says
It looks combed to me. We don’t all have the same texture
Lisa Walton says
It looks messy and uncombed – not natural or any of that … For all of the people taking her side… Would you want her serving food or drinks to you, with potential loose hair? That’s a safety issue. They have to be careful.
Sylvester Thurston says
She should be able to wear it hoq she wants. Professionalism is more than a look
Barker DaOne Glenda says
Unfortunately looks are just as important as actual skills….imagine picking an attorney….would you pick 1 with a green buzz cut hairstyle or 1 with a neat, clean cut
Jemmelia Morgan says
Nah girl imma stop you right there. Professionalism is also how you carry yourself. She could have been any other nationality, creed or color; looking like you just rolled up straight out of bed is not about bring “natural”. I know plenty of natural sista who would never leave their house looking like u kempt.
DiAnna Marie says
Scorpio Me :Why can’t things like these happen to me ? Because I don’t care what job or hairstyle I am wearing .You can and will catch these HANDS. Christian Me : She’s a beautiful young lady I hope someone offers her a job !
Nestar Anderson says
He shouldn’t have done that but sweetie go fix your and keep it moving. Some battles we need to fight and some we let go especially when we got bills to pay. When they know they can make you cry just like children they never STOP. We got way more important battles to fight. I’m not saying this is ok but sometimes you gotta fight without telling certain people but the right people. We got to be stronger believe me this next generation is not standing for it. Make sure when you are ready to battle be prepared to go ALL the way through with it. Imjs. We got to be prepared.
Asya Nicole Crudup Stokes says
Her hairstyle IS unprofessional point blank. As a grown ass woman what makes you think you can do what you want to do. If you know that it is a slicked back ponytail and or bun type of job then you are wrong. This is not discrimination at all.
Sandra Harris-Holloway says
I hate it when we decide what is professional and what is not. Tell me, do other cultures do this to? There are 2 problems here as I see it.
Geslia NolaChic Nicholas says
Because there is nothing unkempt about Bantu knots.
Cornelia Johnson says
When we all need to learn to accept our natural hair and stop trying to make our hair fit to what other people think. Rock on girl, don’t let nobody take away your shine. Because only you have to wear your hair.
Sh'Nae Mua Steele says
Tiffany Marie Banks says
“Tearful.” What tears? I’m not buying it.
Sh'Nae Mua Steele says
I’m still trying to find the Inappropriate hairstyle… i’ll wait!! #wtf
Felicita Chini Alers says
I’m sorry, but hair must be pinned up nicely when at work.
Barbara LaBelle says
Maybe be professional!!
Valerie Johnson says
Her hair looks unkempt to me…
Keela Butler says
Unfortunately that is the world we live in..anything that isn’t ‘simple’ becomes unprofessional and a distraction.
Chautara Franklin says
Priscilla Washington says
Well, our society has become one where some people just don’t know what’s appropriate, and what’s not appropriate.
Tanya Betton says
A job has the right to have a dress code and that code includes your hair. If you don’t like the dress code then you should find another job or make the change to your hair. You can where your natural hair but not ever style that someone does is going to work. Just seems to me everyone seems to be getting bent out of shape about every little thing and wants to sue or get on TV or whatever. Hopefully she can work things out where it works for everyone. The style she’s wearing in this shot looks more like a style for a young girl to me but to each their own.
Ni-Kela Howze says
Would it be acceptable if it was an Afro?
Nebronna Adams says
Idk how someone can say it is unprofessional then turn around and get mad when employers don’t want you to wear braids or locs.
Tatiana Cooper says
How is it unprofessional? What is the standard for professional? Because if hers is then I don’t want to see no one just wearing their hair down with stringy flyaways either! So it’s not cool for us to wear it but Marc Jacobs can put it on white girls they call them “mini buns” and it’s all good!
Tatiana exactly… These people are still stupid and brainwashed. You know it’s not okay to wear those kind of things in till people of OTHER races make it a fad…. Then it will be a in thing….#brainwasheddummies
Gracia Alta says
Working as a stewardess she should know that there are grooming regulations, these also include wearing your hair a certain hairstyle.
Vos Vauss says
I think it looks a mess. It’s one hairstyle of many. You work for and represent someone else’s entity. Since it’s something that is not tied to religion, race or gender…change or leave.
Taisha T says
The hairstyle in the picture looks like something a minor child would wear. Yes, unprofessional. No, she should not have been made fun of.
Mel Cayetano says
if thats the style she hasd… they yes it unprofessional… fix ya hair sweety come on
Lutetia Lavigne says
this hairstyle is childish.
Nebronna Adams says
Straight part. Edges slicked. And natural hair in the back. It’s even out of her face. So what part is unprofessional? Other races wear messy buns and no one bats an eye.
HELLO…Nebronna…that’s what I’m saying. Like she rolled out the bed and her hair was like that….#sorryasspeople
Siobhan Airey says
I fully overstand in some cases hair has to be put away but this is not this case! If she had a long weave or a perm!!! no one would say shit even though it’s un natural and can cause harm if not done correctly. This black women hair looks clean, healthy and shiny. Black women in our society has always been put down for our natural hair. Black hairstyle! seem to offend people for some strange reason and they always use the excuse “it not professional” bulls**t! It’s to make you feel less than you are!!!!!!!!! It’s deeper than a hairstyle and they know it.
Kesha Taylor says
Look like u fly out u brain that hairstyle look good but not professional enough Fi work especially that type of work grow up girl anuh preschool u a guh
Tisha Whoo says
All flight attendants are required to look in a certain way, if her hair looks like it did on this post, then yes, that is not the look of someone who works inside the ✈… She already knew it would cause problems being it did not fit into the company dress code…
As a woman who wears different hairstyles, some good and some a work in progress AND from reading the story and seeing her picture, this is likely what really happened… The young woman wanted heatless curls and planned to achieve them by using bantu knots. Her friend came over to help and the young woman went to sleep with a crisp curly fro in her future. However, her hair was not completely dry in the morning and she was shocked to discover all that hard work seemed for nothing as she cringed at each uncoiling of the semi dry bantu knots. Perhaps thinking she could salvage the style later or realizing the front was too damp to attempt a curly fro, she settled on the two knots in front and went to work. Unfortunately, her new do brought undue attention and compounded hurt feelings on an already stressful day. She knew the style wasn’t the best, but she didn’t need the extra commentary (nor were the jabs at her hair style appropriate) and so she took it to a higher authority… the media. The question is this… if someone of another race had the same hairstyle in her same job at the same company, would it be deemed unprofessional? She is not sited as saying Ms. X wears two buns with her hair down in the back. This would support her discrimination claim better. The fact that she is quoted as saying that her hairstyle was appropriate as a child supports the claim that she probably had second thoughts about the hairstyle’s professionalism. (Yes, there are times we can make our beloved kid styles work as polished adult styles but that’s another story) The issue is not race or hair type. The two real issues are the two accounts of unprofessionalism in her particular job and company: The minor issue of the young woman picking a hairstyle associated with children and the major issue of her coworkers/boss bullying her like children on the playground. Hopefully, it is handled accordingly.
The Honest Guest says
In this case, I agree I don’t consider Bantu Knots professional, but they are great for Festivals or Clubs! I actually wear Bantu Knots to curl my hair but going into public is not appropriate! I love Rhianna’s look but shes an entertainer! Black Chyna wore the recently as well , she’s in the same industry!
Rose Wheeler says
That hairstyle is not professional. You don’t expect whites to wear a mohawk so don’t go to a job where appearance is everything and not look corporate. Bantu knots are not business appropriate. They’re fine if you work at a movie theater but not for business!