Despite a rise in popularity, natural hairstyles still discriminated against in Caribbean society
In recent times, the trend for most female hairstyles has become the natural look. While some women still carry their hair in relaxed or curled styles, the natural styles (by now numbering in dozens of options) has been coming into prominent focus, even encouraging salons who once specialised only in chemicallly-proccessing haair to now incorporate natural looks into their repetoire.
But although the trend is now becoming more the norm than the exception, there is stil discrimination associated with it. It seems as though the mood of the job marketplace, and certainly among our parent’s genration, that natural hair is not suitable. They feel that the straight European-styled hair is more acceptable for the business place.
Too often, comments such as, “Wait, you turn rasta now!” or “What is dat foolishness in your hair?” are normally heard by someone who has decided to do away with chemically processed hair and go back to their roots.
These sentiments are always a case of narrow-mindedness and evidence that black people in this region have not yet come to grips with who they really are.
Many women turn to natural hair for many reasons: some because the chemicals are wearing out their hair, or that chemically processed hair requires a lot of attention and can be expensive to style. Whatever the reason, it should be their choice and should be accepted by this region as not merely an option, but a refusal to be brainwashed by decades old programming about “good hair”.
To show just how discriminating Caribbean society can be against natural hair on women, there was an instance where a female with natural hair was told that it would be more appropriate not to wear here hair in twists when going for a television audition. because of that advice, the female went out an bought a relaxed style wig for the occasion.
To be fair, I agree that if hair is untidy, whatever the style, is an expression of another problem. Well-groomed hair and physical presence is often an indication of that person’s self-esteem. This applies, whether natural, relaxed, curled or if extensions are used, and discrimination based on hairstyle is among the stupidest of human pretensions. A person should be accepted for themselves and not on criteria that no longer applies in this day and age. Don’t forget that our parents were famous for their ‘fros, their platform shoes and micro-minis. Come on!
Ladies, tell them “Buss luck !” when they run that game, and if they fire you because of it… make a statement: Sue!