Natural Hair in Corporate America
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Natural Hair in Corporate America
My Natural Is My Natural even in Corporate America!
By Written by The Hair Whisperer Tendai
With the rapid growth of ah-ha moments and self-discovery in and around the world of Natural Hair, it’s safe to say that there are many questions and myths that have come up. One of which I would like to address in this issue: Natural Hair in Corporate America.
Some women have said that they are not comfortable with going natural because of fear of backlash from their bosses or co-workers. Some women feel that if they go natural it will lessen their chances of being promoted to a higher position.
Some women have even shared with me comments that were made about their natural hair. For example, one woman decided to straighten her natural texture for a brief moment of change. She told me that her boss made it her business to run up to her and excitedly let her know how much more she loved this look on her instead of her old hair. Might I add, her boss never commented on her hair or really acknowledged her existence before she straightened her hair. Needless to say my client became self-conscious and a bit insecure about her natural even to the point of considering going back to the creamy crack. I can see many of you nodding your heads in agreement saying “Mmmm hmmm. I know that feeling. The same thing happened to me at work!”
Before I start service on any client I have them to look into a GIANT mirror at themselves and say “My Natural is My Natural.” The GIANT mirror and the declaration is very important! The mirror is a non-deniable truth that you cannot escape. A person cannot fix something that they cannot see. A person cannot see something that they won’t look at because they are in denial. The Natural Declaration Statement “MY NATURAL IS MY NATURAL” is an affirmation, a tool that you will pull out in those difficult times that you feel like giving up on your natural.
The experience that I shared with you at the beginning of this article is a familiar situation to many women in Corporate America. I don’t feel that the problem stems from non-natural bosses or the boss’s lack of sensitivity to the black woman’s struggle to embrace self. There are ignorant people in this world, don’t get me wrong, but my goal is not to focus on ignorance but to identify road blocks that need to be addressed. Let’s examine this scenario from a different angle.
Every human being has likes and dislikes based on their life experiences. These experiences are materialized from our 5 senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Those senses allow us to form an opinion and categorize it as either good or bad. We can say that Natural hair has been a bad experience for the majority of black women until recent years. Let’s face it: this is new for all of us. If I had a dollar for every woman who said “I thought, I had bad hair until I went natural and realized that all I had to do was ………….”
Commit to what grows out of YOUR head. Understand that just because you are natural doesn’t mean you are doing the right things to your natural hair to get good results that fit you. By finding the right style and products you will be able to give people a new experience that is pleasing to the senses, resulting in a new appreciation for something other than straight hair.
Don’t place blame on others for your own misunderstanding. Look in the mirror and say “My Natural is My Natural.” Then adjust accordingly.