If you have a career that requires you to appear before the public - receptionist, flight attendant, television newscaster, etc., you were probably given a description of what is considered the appropriate "look" for your job. Somewhere in that description was probably the word "professional." Somehow, particularly for women of African descent, that word "professional" is a code word meaning "and get rid of that nappy hair!" Perhaps artsy people - musicians and entertainers- can get away with it, but how many women or men are seen in top positions in corporate America wearing locks? Jacqueline McCrae of Locpartee examines some of the attitudes surrounding the natural styles of hair, whether "dreadlocks," "sister locks," or the various twists that create an exotic look. Why is our hair a political statement? Can your hairstyle really affect whether you are hired for a job? Can it affect your acceptance in certain social circles? Can it determine whether you are a feasible candidate for public office? Has the wearing of locks by certain "gangster rap" artists caused it to be identified as a"thug" hairstyle?Why are all the women wearing weaves? And is the real problem that we never really learned how to properly value and take care of our own natural hair?
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