A tweet showed up on my timeline that made me Google unprofessional and professional hairstyles:
At this point, the post has been retweeted 8.3K times and liked 5K times. And while my initial Google image search immediately sent me into “WTF” mode, you have to take a closer look and see what content actually includes those images. If you click on the “unprofessional hairstyles” Google images of natural-haired black women, most will take you to articles about why natural hair should NOT be viewed as unprofessional. Here’s one:
Most of the articles I saw were not actually bashing natural hair — they were defending it. I know that I’ve addressed natural hair in the workplace several times on Quest for the Perfect Curl. If you do a Google image search right now, this article will probably show up, but it may not be apparent that I’m not bashing natural hair in the search results.
Some people even pointed out that the pictures actually aren’t being used in a negative light.
While I’m happy that, for once, the world isn’t trolling black women, it brings up another issue. Why, as black women, do we have to defend our natural hair so much that when you Google search for “unprofessional hairstyles” our discussions and debates trend highest? It is a subtle instance of privilege; other women can go to work without worry, black women have to be ready to defend their natural hair in the workplace at a moment’s notice.
Ladies what are your thoughts?