Monday, October 22, 2007

Natural Hair: A Glamour No No

If you are a subscriber or reader of Glamour Magazine, I suggest you think twice about that next purchase. The magazine has been added to the long list of companies that "subtly" express discriminatory remarks against Black people. A group of female attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (a reputable law firm in New York) hosted a workshop on the do's and dont's of corporate attire this past August. A staff writer of Glamour was invited to facilitate the workshop. The first slide of the presentation was the picture of a woman with an afro - a huge no no according to the writer. Dreadlocks were also condemned, and the presenter expressed her disbelief that people still find this hairstyle "appropriate". "No offense, but those political hairstyles really have to go," she informed the room of 40 women, 10 who were African American. Cindi Leive, the editor in chief of the magazine, issued a statement apologizing on behalf of the magazine and expressing that the staffer's opinions on natural hair is not the opinion of Glamour. "Glamour is proud of its diverse readership and celebrates the beauty of ALL women. We have responded directly and openly with readers to assure them of this fact. We have also apologized to the law firm, and we extend the same apology to you."

This type of ignorance is infuriating. As a Black woman with natural hair, I was really offended by the staff writer's comments. She clearly has no clue about Black hair care. To assume that afros and dreadlocks are a political statement is pretty offensive and...stupid. Unfortunately, these types of comments don't surprise me at all.

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