Hampton Says Your Locs Aren't Good Enough for Corporate America
This is when one's decision to wear natural hair gets tough. I completely understand that sometimes you have to do what is necessary to advance professionally in life, but it also makes me wonder why we have to conceal certain cultural elements of ourselves in order to be successful. The fact of the matter is individuals in corporate America are scared of hairstyles that they feel scream "I'm black!". Why do I have to apologize for being black? Why do I have to apologize for having kinky hair? Am I sounding too "pro-black" right now? The only explanation I can think of for anti-natural hair policies is that many people still associate natural hair with the black power movement of the '60s and '70s. No, I'm not a revolutionist. This is simply the way MY hair grows. If this is a hard concept to understand, please let me know.
What I really want to know-- how is this "fear" ever eradicated if we continue to give in to what corporate America deems professional and appropriate? In most professions, image is everything and understandably so. However, I don't see a problem with any hairstyle, including locs, as long as it is neat and polished. By complying with policies such as Hampton's, we're basically agreeing to the fact that natural hair is a so-called hindrance to establishing a professional career-- which is obviously not true. I just find it silly and upsetting that so many people think superficial things such as physical appearance denote one's ability to perform his or her job well. Ultimately, am I going to let my hair keep me from progressing professionally? Probably not. But at what point is enough, enough?
Do you think Hampton's policy is fair?
Are locs and braided/twisted styles professional enough for corporate America? Tell me in a comment below.