This issue has come up time and time again: do Black hairstyles “belong” in a corporate setting? We’ve seen Black hair styles actually banned in a number of institutions…including Hampton U Business school with a “no cornrows” mandate since 2001 and recently, an Ohio elementary school that banned “afro puffs” — though, the elementary school has since apologized and lifted the ban.
What’s the real reason behind why the go-to twists, braids, afros, and curly styles common for Black women are perceived as “unprofessional” or inappropriate for work or even school?
Artist Endia Beal has recently showcased a collection of stills she took of white, middle-aged women. The catch? The photos were taken after the women had the chance to sit in a Black hair salon chair and get their hair curled, twisted, and braided into an assortment of Black styles–and photographed whether they liked their style or not.
Beal had said that the collection of images and whole experience of bringing white women into a Black salon and then back into corporate gear was about embracing new experiences and delving outside of your comfort zone.
Black hair in the work place has always been a heated discussion — but photos like this one add a bit of humor to the conversation. And hopefully push people out of their comfort zones and into talking more about things that may make us uncomfortable, but things that need to be talked about nonetheless.
Ladies (and gents…), what are your thoughts on the photo collection?