I am so passionate about this topic I am not sure where to begin. It all started with Nicki Minaj, like most things in life, right? When I saw Nicki with her high ponytail I immediately decided I wanted that hairstyle. The first thought I had was how cute I was going to look (yaaassss). The second thought was how my head was shaped because skulls are weird. The third thought was all of the comments/reactions I would get at work as a result – positive and negative.
I work in corporate America. I mean a real office job with ladders and politics etc. On top of that I report to an executive which is typically a great thing because of the exposure, but this makes my black hair choices more stressful. I can hear some of my friends now “no one will tell me how to wear my hair, I do what TF I wa….” I know. But the reality is when you work for someone else your appearance matters. Hell, sometimes when you work for yourself it matters. I was talking to a higher level co-worker about hair in the office a few days ago. A successful black woman who has worked hard and done great things in her career. She wears extensions and wigs to work because she is active, but she also told me that “people would look at her crazy if she wore her natural hair sticking out all over the place.” First of all I can tell that this woman has beautiful romantic curls however, she’s been trained to believe that what she was born with is inappropriate. While black women everywhere are embracing their hair more and more, there is still a stigma that we face regarding natural hair looking unkept, or hairstyles that are “ghetto.”
My high ponytail is an urban style for sure, but I believe that WOC have to embrace wearing styles that represent our culture at work for them to become the norm. I might come to work looking like Halle from B.A.P.S and dare you to look at me sideways because I’ll use it as an opportunity to educate you.
I loved Nicki’s hair for sure, but choosing this style was also about the fact that I should be able to wear my hair however I please (as long as I take showers and do a great job) and be accepted for that. With this being said, black women, don’t think I’m saying it’s OK for you to go to work looking at hot ass mess. This is not an excuse to skip the coconut oil, this is just encouragement for black women everywhere to try something other than the full sew in with leave out at the natural length hairstyle so that my daughter can rock her finger waves and my son his blonde tipped two strand twists.
I mean, look what comes up when you google natural hair……magic.