“Black” Hairstyles on White Women Evoke Questions of Professionalism

white-women-black-hairstyles1Black women’s hair seems to be in the news every other day or so. How it is styled, how long it is, what its texture feels like, and so on comes up in the media so regularly that it seems like a major facet of public dialogue. Sometimes women have been fired after their traditionally “black” hairstyles caused issues for them. And, black hair continues to be a major factor in the “othering” of black women.

So, what does it mean when non-black women sport traditionally “black” hairstyles? More specifically, when professional looking middle-aged white women wear cornrows, flat twists, finger waves, and twist outs, does it have the same effect? Does it raise the same questions? [Read more…]

Are You an “Other?”

different-3I have recently, in the past month or so, had several people tell me that I don’t “seem to like most things.” Me, a mother of two (with one on the way), wife, sorority sister, television and movie addict, hairstyle connoisseur, food truck follower, Candy Crush zealot, politics geek, numbers guru, etc. (you get the point), I was told that I don’t like most things.  This is not the first, second, third, or even hundredth time I have been told this.  And each time, I have to consider the source when taking such a critique.

In most cases, I have been offered this unwelcome criticism by someone outside of my inner circle. My hometown roots don’t always align with my SoCal lifestyle. And, my brown skin, kinky hairstyles, and proclivity for Soul and R&B music just don’t mesh with the bubblegum nature of my current Orange County, California social environment. Why? Well, not because I actually don’t like things, because I don’t necessarily like the things I am supposed to like. Deep, right? [Read more…]