Black Women and the Appropriate Hairstyles in America

Abstract

This paper summarizes black women and how they should dress in corporate organizations. Black women are seen as casualties of culture because of the way they dress in the society. The natural hairdos of African American women are seen to be criticized by the rest of the society. In addition to that, the paper also looks at views of analysts, colleges and independent persons concerning hairdressing. Most of them argue it is the right of these women to showcase their culture in this corporate society.

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Furthermore, it is important for women to enhance their freedom in their mode of dressing in order to enhance self-discovery. The paper explains the fear of being identified as a stereotypical ‘angry black woman,’ the oriented black American woman suffers from the professor of Tuck school of business saw as “Bicultural stress” which means a situation hides their true selves in offices.Whether they exist comments about insults or texture, many African American women feel that there exist a price to pay for a natural hairdo.

Even large corporations have been sued by black women because they were allegedly fired for wearing dreadlocks.However, because of the European standard of beauty, this is the main reason why black women wear weaves because natural hair is considered to be socially unacceptable and inappropriate. So, there exist various reasons why women wear wigs and put on natural hairdos. The reason is because the society describes their hair as longer and partly because most women think it looks nice.This paper illustrate various views and situations that illustrate that women need their freedom of culture in work places.

Introduction

Black American women are considered casualties of culture and the manner in which they dress in offices. Because women with American descent are considered to be the minority in most big corporations; they are often questioned about their hair and appearance.

If African American women are natural, their co-workers become curious and hence starts asking how natural hair is turned into afros (“Black Women Debate and “Appropriate” Hair-Styles For Corporate America – Naturally Moi”). This paper seeks to discuss the culture of black women and their mode of appearance in the corporate world and the mode of hairstyles too.

According to a research report from the talent Innovation Centre, it is estimated that 40% of black Americans said that they felt like outsiders in the corporate cultures, compared to 26% of certain Caucasians. Despite the corporate side to attempt to be diverse, more than 35% of blacks say they need to compromise their look and authenticity to conform to standards of the company, concerning style or demeanor One executive from the African American executive argues and describes the experience in the business world as a theater, and I try to remember to always stay in character.

In fear of being identified as a stereotypical ‘angry black woman,’ the oriented African American woman suffers from the professor of Tuck school of business saw as “Bicultural stress” which means a situation hides their true selves in offices.

The Georgia state university hosted a discussion focusing on black women’s struggle because of their hair in the workplace. The event which was known “Black women,” their workplace and their hair, provided strategic views from the panelist on how women can transform their hair. Natasha Daniels, an analyst from Atlanta city, argued that attendees could pull their hair in a sweet bun and it can be accepted and look polished. Nakisha McNeal, a student at the GSU whose, locs challenged the advice of the panelists.

She said that the panelist was talking about the locs being polished and having interview skills and hence no one was addressing the view that natural hair was traditionally considered as not polished. Therefore it was not about maintaining the Eurocentric standpoint but caring or the hair as well (“Black Women Debate “Appropriate” Hair-Styles For Corporate America – Naturally Moi”).

The hair issue concerning African Americans is also seen to affect most of the universities. The dean of Hampton University’s school of business decided to ban students from wearing cornrows and dreadlocks. Credle argued that the ban was effective and helping students land jobs from big corporations they should play the part when looking for employment. Conformity shouldn’t have a place on any college campus, especially the campus of HBCU. Aside from building wealth in communities, investment in blacks could drastically reduce the stress of African culture in the workplace. (Jenifer & Armstrong)

In the year 2007, the author of the Glamour magazine spoke to lawyers concerning the reasons why black women were hesitating to wear their natural hair in workplaces. She states the corporations offers dos and don’ts while hiring this person. Whether they exist comments about insults or texture, many African American women feel that there exist a price to pay for a natural hairdo. Even corporations such as MCI Communications have been sued by black women because they were allegedly fired for wearing dreadlocks.

According to Ruth, she argues it was about educating the general public the government about self-acceptance. When African American women straightened their hair during C.J Walker’s error, it was because they had no choice. However, nowadays when a black woman goes to look for a job or apply for it, she doesn’t get the job because maybe her hair is considered to be natural (“Black Women And Identity: What’s Hair has To Do With It?”).

Janet Campbell, the owner of a hair salon, believes that black women are going natural, despite the limits of careers nowadays. As a stylist for more than 14 years, she has been operating a licensed salon in Toronto, and she is the optimist that nowadays she sees natural hair compared to the past years. She argues that her salon referred to as Nanni’s not a place for women and men to get their hair done but a place to discover themselves.

However, because of the European standard of beauty, this is the main reason why black women wear weaves because natural hair is considered to be socially unacceptable and inappropriate. So, therefore, why would black women wear the wigs and make their hair longer? This is because the society describes their hair as longer and partly because most women think it looks nice. (Morgan, lee, Spade& Bassichis)

In addition to that, while looking at the types of hair that fit into the system, historically curly and straight hair are seen to be socially acceptable. On the other hand, curly hair is fair while comparing with kinky hair because it resembles the white culture. Dating back to slavery the curly hair and lighter skin was likely to be housemaids, compared to people with frizzy hair and darker skin were moved to the fields.

Hence in comparison with a new workstation black natural hair causes social norms that are unacceptable to people and cause discomfort. However, to this black women, eccentric hairstyles are considered to be a source of pride. Dating back to slavery when black women’s hair was not attended to, their masters felt ashamed of them and hence considered them inhuman and inferior. Hence corporate leaders in today’s world are ashamed of women with black and natural hair. (Morgan et al)

However, this discussion leads to misunderstanding about African-American women and their hair. I think that these women do not change the hair because they want to look white but they do change their hair because it’s time-consuming. Supporting the thesis statement above, the time spent on natural hair can vary based on every person hence this should not be an excuse to maintain one’s culture and self-discovery. (Schulman & Sarah)

In conclusion, natural hair should be allowed in workplaces to promote equality amongst the workers. This would reduce hate and malice towards each other and promote a better working organization. (Schulman & Sarah)

References

“Black Women Debate “Appropriate” Hair-Styles For Corporate America – Naturally Moi.” Naturallymoi.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

“Black Women And Identity: What’s Hair Got To Do With It?”. Quod.lib.umich.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-so-many-African-American-women-wear-weaves-wigs-perms-or-dyed-hairN.p., 2017. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Armstrong, Jennifer. “Revisiting ‘The Beauty Myth.’” Huffington Post, June 12, 2013.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-armstrong/revisiting-the-beautymyth_b_3063414.html.

Bassichis, Morgan, Alexander Lee, and Dean Spade. “Building an Abolitionist Trans and Queer Movement with Everything We’ve Got.” In Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, edited by Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith, 15–40. Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2011.

Schulman, Sarah. Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences. New York: The New Press, 2009.

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