Rhonda Lee had long been told that she needed to make her natural hair "more pleasing to a wider audience," she told HuffPost Live on Thursday, but she never expected her hair style to actually compromise her job.
Lee, an African American woman who currently works as a meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, recalled how comments she made in response to Internet vitriol targeting her hair ultimately led to her being fired by her former network.
Lee's Article Highlights:
Rhonda says it's a blessing and a curse that people can say exactly what they think about you at any given time on social media.
It's amazing to think people consider statements about your own hair "controversial", as Rhonda said, she didn't consider her hair to be controversial but something that grows out of her head.
Rhonda Lee was told on her job interview at KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, Louisiana, that it was seen as "the white station" in town, later she was told she might want to change her hair to appeal to a "wider" audience.
It's like they automatically assume all black women are jealous and bald. My hair is to the middle of my back and I'm currently rocking a press. When I straighten my hair most people assume it's a weave and these women at my college are a hot mess.
They will literally keep running their hands through their hair then look back at you, like you're suppose to be upset. This is way to common and very annoying. Just had to rant, I know others have probably noticed this as well.
Lee's Article Highlights: This was an interesting mini-rant I noticed the other day on the lipstick alley forum. I honestly have never heard of this "phenomena" (as one forum member called it), my first reaction is to think the original poster is being a bit over-reactive. Women fuss with their hair, it's what they do. Just because someone with different hair from you fusses with it around you doesn't mean they are trying to make a statement. There really is no statement to make.
I did take note that many of the other forum commenters didn't notice this or think anything sinister was going on. Sometimes people need to worry about themselves more and not look for reasons to get upset. Don't get me wrong,
I'm sure it has happened before, but to assume a woman flipping their hair is directly against you is as crazy as saying that every woman that flips her hair around me "wants me" (which some guys actually think, lol). Fussing with their hair is a what women do. No need to read more into it.
Many women in the forum thread said that they played with their hair all the time so they aren't taking offense to someone of another race doing so.
Not to be discounted, many women identified with the mini-rant and said that they noticed this going on.
One of my favorite comments in the entire thread was " LOL. To be honest I don't typically pay attention to other women's hair regardless of race. I prefer my natural hair so even if another woman was trying to flaunt her hair I wouldn't have noticed because I wouldn't have cared." That's what I'm hollerin'!
I'm loving that Porsha's natural hair is looking so beautiful, I'm hating that she only shows it as a teaser to the next weave. I agree with Porsha's stylist, the constant weave is an illusion, I'd disagree that it's flawless though. The flaw is acting like your own hair isn't acceptable and not good enough to be seen in public.
Porsha looked naturally beautiful in her shortly-lived natural hair moment. Genuinely beautiful, but.... She feels the need to... Ahhh forget it. Do what you wanna do Porsha.
Porsha Williams is definitely a weave queen, it'll be interesting to see if that changes one day. Sometimes I have to wave the white flag and hope for the best, this is one those moments.
We exude confidence like no one else. Let me tell you something, do you have any IDEA how much courage and it takes to cut ALL your hair off as a woman?
Editor’s Note: This list of reasons to date a black woman with natural hair is pretty good. Many of these advantages are exactly what men are looking for when dating a woman. It's hard enough relating to the opposite sex, but when you feel like it's a sin to touch her hair or ask her to go to the gym with you, the problems can add up quickly. I'm 100% sure that natural women will have an easier time in relationships. Yes, girls without natural hair can make great wives and mates, but I'm here to say that I'd prefer a natural girl for the reasons listed below. Here are our article highlights:
#Teamnatural girls are easy to buy gifts for. Buying natural hair products makes them smile from ear to ear.
A man can play with his natural woman's hair and she won't try to kill him.
You know it’s all real. Basically what you see is what you get, that counts a lot for most men.
They are not your average African-American woman when it comes to hair and health, they are freer and more open.
They display a sexy self-confidence that can't be denied.
Beautiful black women are magic and their hair is gorgeous, what this beautiful black art represents is what we should have more of in the public eye to see.
And to think we have been brain-washed by western European standards into believing our hair is not "good". I would love to see an exhibit on these pieces. I found an amazing thread started on Lipstick Alley back in September of 2014 and it's still rolling along strong.
These ladies and gents have compiled a collection of stunning images depicting different artist interpretations of natural black hair.
Editor’s Note: The brilliantly colorful and sometimes even chilling pieces of art should really be seen by anyone who is a fan of natural hair. I hope you can check out these works of art, I promise you that you will be trying to find where you can buy some of these stunning pieces. And if you find out, you be sure to let me know. #teamnatural
This was a truly profound and REAL conversation about the way Western and American culture views and treats beauty that sits outside of it's typical standards.
Actress Nicole Ari Parker of Broadway's Streetcar Named Desire, University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, cultural critic Joan Morgan, and CurlyNikki.com founder Nikki Walton, sit down with Melissa Harris-Perry to talk about the political messages behind black hair and hairstyles.
Editor’s Note: This set of videos is a classic throwback journalistic piece, in case you haven't seen it they talk about how more women have turned towards going natural since 2007 and are changing the economy of black hair.
The ladies really lay it out on the line in this heartfelt conversation, they speak very honestly about their feelings, how having children changed their perspective on their own hair and how America's view on black hair impacts the psyche of black women in their own self-perception.
They talk about the importance of telling little black girls how beautiful their hair is when doing their hair instead of saying derogatory remarks, like "you look a mess", "you ain't going outside looking like that" and "let's work on that kitchen". Here are our video highlights:
It's amazing that it's considered "revolutionary" to wear your hair the way it grows out of your head.
They talk about worrying about if black men will find them attractive, will employers want to hire them.
Black women have literally been dying of poor health because they don't want to workout and mess up their hair.
I think what is important about Viola Davis taking her wig off on How to Get Away With Murder is that it illustrates that there is a mask that women are thought to have to wear. For black women, it can be a more complex mask. Our culture has created a very limited view of what beauty is and can be.
Editor’s Note: I've always loved Tracee Ellis Ross and her hair. Being a Detroit boy myself I have a special place in my heart for Motown's own Diana Ross and her daughter. I have to agree with Tracee that it's so good to see natural black hair on TV. Little girls of all races need to see that in mainstream media and know that it's something beautiful. Here are our article highlights:
It is important that black girls and women see beautiful images of themselves in the media.
Tracee Ellis Ross says she's done playing society's game in order to be considered beautiful.
A Black woman’s beauty is far from the European standards of beauty this country follows.
I am a black woman. I have kinky hair. I have full lips. I have very dark skin. I do not have a complex about it. And yet, at every turn, I’ve been made to feel like I should.
I often feel as though people see me and then form a narrative in their heads of my self-esteem -- a girl who grew up longing to be lighter skinned, who cried every night because she didn't look like Beyonce, a girl who had to scratch and fight to get over feeling ugly because she felt her dark complexion wasn't beautiful.
Comment Section Quote Of Note From Duni1: "Oh thank goodness. I'm in the same boat. I've never thought myself as being or not looking better then someone else of lighter skin or less kinky hair, but you would think I might have a complex if you listen to media.
I like myself and my hair and for some reason it seems to undermine the belief that i must have some sort of color-self-hatred.
I mean I do, but its generally about my weight and the fact that I have no clue how to wear makeup but can do my nails like a pro.
Other people feel odd about my skin color and I'm just like... you know what... you can go ahead and carry that torch for me... I'm going to continue with my life." Here are our article highlights:
In Ghana(African continent) there are large billboards that advertise lightening products like Fair & Lovely.
There is a kind of validation that comes with seeing people that look like you in the media you consume.
The assumption that everyone wants to have straight hair and light skin is false.
Sims, in her unusual stand, contends that hair regulations are biased against the natural hairstyles of many African-American women, and her career is evidence they are ambiguous at best: She wore her hair in the same style for nine years in the Navy before being ordered to cut it.
She said: "I don't think I should be told that I have to straighten my hair in order to be within what they think the regulations are, and I don't think I should have to cover it up with a wig."
“I do think that it’s a race issue,” Sims said. “The majority of the hairstyles that have the strictest regulations are hairstyles that black women would wear.”
The Navy, however, argued that all dreadlocks are out of regs, and because she has refused to cut them or cover them up, moved to honorably discharge her for “serious misconduct.”
Editor’s Note: This story isn't a surprise to me, for the longest time natural black hair has been held in contempt. I find it weird that after years and years of wearing her hair in this manner, always neat, clean and within two inches of her head she suddenly is forced to change it or get out. The Navy has since relaxed their standards for women's hair but it's still slanted towards not fully accepting natural black hairstyles. But the story has a happy ending because Jessica aint sweatin' it, she got her discharge papers with her hair on her head and her dignity intact, now she's headed to Loyola University in Chicago where she will major in biology as a pre-med. Do your thang Jessica! Here are our article highlights:
Jessica Sims says the Navy's order amounted to shaving off her locks and wearing a wig which she wasn't going to do.
Sims says she always made sure that her hair bun didn't protrude more than 2 inches from her head, per Navy regulations.
She is happy she took a stand and says she would do it again, she doesn't feel her natural hair is "unprofessional".
Going natural was a lengthy and scary notion for me. Once I gained the confidence and the knowledge of the many health benefits to my psyche, skin, and hair — I still put it off.
This is a short journey of how I ditched my chemical relaxer, plus a few tips I discovered so you can go the natural route too.
Editor’s Note: Kristin is a brilliant writer that really makes you feel her journal to getting a beautiful head full of healthy, natural hair. I'm sure many women can relate to the pain and discomfort of getting a perm and Kristin cried and sobbed her way through it until she'd had enough.
It's a profound thought to think that just like Kristin, so many women haven't had healthy hair since childhood, as she says, 6th grade was the last time her hair was healthy(until now).
She got past her fears of thinking she'd end up dateless with short hair and did what she had to do to get her hair and HERSELF back. Here are our article highlights:
Kristin compares getting her hair permed to being tortured.
She highlights the 3 ways begin your journey to natural hair. The big chop, the relaxer grow out and the weave out.
She says it's one of the best things she's ever done, not just for her beauty but to overcome self-doubt.