Thursday, October 25, 2007
Yanked from King Magazine online, a link to "Cleary Gottlieb Has a Bad Hair Day." Vivia Chen breaks down what happened when a visiting Glamour editor (you'll note how the person responsible gets busted down from "editor" to "junior staffer" once Glamour realises how fucked up her comments were) declares that afros and dreadlocks (and other "political" black hairstyles) are inappropriate for work. For what it's worth, I disagree with the Cleary Gottlieb's managing partner: he thinks that the woman who made the comments was simply "oblivious," but not actually racist. I tend to think it's both, actually; the woman said something racist (and in this instance I think it's important to keep the link between holding racist views and actually being a racist forged in our minds) because she's oblivious to anything outside of a western European beauty aesthetic. And who can blame her? By far the majority of black women this woman sees -- in print, on television, in films -- will conform, to a greater or lesser extent, with white standards of beauty we've all been conditioned to accept: including straight[ened] hair. The fact that most Americans -- including many black people, sadly enough -- equate black hair in its natural state with bad hygiene, sloppiness, dirtiness and wildness OR overweening political posturing means that of course afros and dreadlocks and bantu knots and twists and cornrows are going to be seen as inappropriate for a corporate environment.
More here from So Wise Sista: "Locs Down." It's an older post, but still interesting.
Anyway, this post was provoked by my finding that picture above, which is the 'fro of my dreams*.
*yeah, I know I say that every time I get online and go looking for pictures. But this time I mean it, babe