Some time ago, I discussed being natural in the corporate world. When I decided to go natural two years ago, it was an easy thing to do because I worked for a liberal employer. It was an advertising agency that encouraged individualism and showing your personality, so my transition to natural was accepted. I have since quit my job at the ad agency and accepted a position at a law firm. Super corporate, right? But we also live in different times, times where I’d like to think that companies are more aware and a bit more accepting of different cultures and how they wear their natural hair. As long as it is neat, clean, and presentable there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. There are still a lot of black women in the corporate world who are unfairly treated, judged, and ridiculed for having natural hair.
Seeing that I work for a law firm and I’m their receptionist, I know I have to tread lightly and keep my hair tame for the most part. Lately I’ve been rocking bantu twist outs with a head band. Then my husband encouraged me to forego the headband (he hates when I wear them) and just rock my curly fro. I looked at him and then at myself in the mirror and I said “You know what? You’re right! There’s nothing wrong with my curly fro!” I received compliments on my hair while one boss stated “Oh you’re wearing your hair all big today, huh?” Now you know I could have been all kinds of offended, and honestly I kind of was at first. But there are people out there who simply don’t know. They don’t know a thing about African American hair, kinky coily hair, or the many ways that we can style our hair. So I let her comment pass and just said “Yeah, my husband told me not to wear the headband today and just rock the curly fro, so that’s what I did.” Then moments of awkwardness ensued.
I’ve decided to play things by ear and wait and see if anything will be said to me about my hair. Lord knows I hope nothing is said about my hair because….well we’ll cross that bridge if it ever comes up. The previous receptionist that I’m replacing wore wigs and quick weaves, so they are used to seeing someone at the front desk with straight hair. I think it’s time they expand their minds with me and my natural hair which will always be neatly styled. I won’t push the envelope with crazy styles, but I do plan on getting some kinky twists (braids) and I will continue to rock my afro. Nothing makes me feel more powerful and confident than rocking my afro, and rocking it BIG! Again, it will be tame at work. 😉