Rochester anchor and reporter Alexis Arnold just proved that a black women’s choice of hairstyle is nobody else’s business. When a natural hair shamer criticized Arnold for wearing her natural hair on air, leaving a voicemail telling her to “do a little something with your hair because it looks kind of rough.”
How someone could find it in themselves to get up the nerve to make this type of disgusting comment at someone is beyond us, but apparently this troll felt it necessary to insult a black woman’s hair.
Arnold decided to share the message with the public, while swiftly shutting down the rude commenter on Facebook.
Here was her response:
Amen to that, Alexis!
This isn’t the first time that natural hair has become a hot topic of discussion.
That because, for black women, hair dos are about much more than personal choice. They have become issues with both social and political implications that can have a deep impact many all aspects of her life.
Just about every black woman has felt self-conscious about her hair at one point or another, and there have been many stories of women who were told that how they choose to wear their hair is inappropriate in professional, academic and even some social environments.
Why? In the world of conventional, European-centric beauty standards, black women’s natural features are considered unattractive, especially their curly to kinky hair. These narrow-minded ideals have left black women not only battling with issues of self-esteem, but struggling to fit into certain societal norms of prevailing hair and beauty standards to be accepted or achieve upward mobility.
When Michelle Obama decided to wear her hair natural — and Oprah and Beyoncé decided to reveal their own hair — women across the country cheered their decision. This helped raise much-needed awareness at a time when millions of black and other women of color still face criticism, stigma and discrimination for wearing their hair in its natural, textured state.
Nationwide, there have been numerous cases of black women who have been fired, reprimanded, disqualified, shut out and forced to change their hairstyles.
Thankfully, the tide is turning.
Last year, California became the first state to ban discrimination based on natural hair. Shortly thereafter, New York and then New Jersey followed suit with their own state laws prohibiting bias in the workplace, housing, schools or public spaces based on hair texture, type or style — including braids, twists and locks.
Whether it’s natural, treated, extensions, curly, straight or anything in between, your hair is yours. That means you have the right to wear it the way you want to.
So, Alexis, we have your back on this. You’re beautiful and the choice is your own.
There’s no room in this world for natural hair shaming or any other negative comments about a black woman’s appearance, period!