Let’s face it, the idea or the perception in the world about black women is clear; we are strong, mouthy, angry, and loud. We are difficult to get along with which results in many Black men choosing to turn their backs on us as their choices for a girlfriend or wife. Do I agree with that notion of us? HECK NO!
It’s shallow to assume any type of woman is easily categorized with the same attributes based on such a stereotypical point of view.
Other than the majority of us being discriminated against because of the color of our skin, we are very different. Can I be loud? Yes. Am I loud 24/7? No. Can I be angry? Yes. Am I angry 24/7? No. You see where I’m going with this?
Any woman can be angry, loud, mouthy as well as difficult but somehow we have been labeled with these negative qualities. As if black women don’t have enough to deal with, we are being singled out because we choose to wear our natural hair.
You can almost feel the pressure of it like a threat hanging over your head, “change or else”; you will stand out, you will not be accepted by us, you won’t be fit for that promotion, you can’t go to school here. The message it communicates is that our natural hair is an offense, so is natural hair helping or hurting black women today?
This gives way to an even deeper question; what is the purpose of all the talk about embracing diversity, if there is still a concerted effort in effect to force conformity on us? Some of the steps to get us to subscribe to the “sameness” of the standards of Eurasian beauty are so glaring while others are a bit more subtle.
It is almost like being caught between a rock and a hard place and often that is where many of us find ourselves in the workplace. Taking up for yourself should be understood but if you do it, you may be labeled one of those all too often used labels listed above. I remember when I was working for a state agency how I was made to feel my natural hair was not up to par.
I primarily wore my hair in a wash and go style back then (like now) but the couple of times I wore it straight a co-worker made a point to comment on how wonderful my hair looked. She even went so far as to say it was more ‘professional’. Whaaaat? Yea, she said that with a straight face and yes, that person was in a supervisory position.
Stand up for yourself in a case like this and guess who gets the wrong end of the stick? I am not a fan of others feeling the need to tell me what is professional or not with my hair. Clothing? Yes, you may have a valid point there, but my hair? To me that is crossing the line.