I find it strange that I never had a hard time getting a job before I stopped getting perms and reverted back to my natural hair. I had jobs where I was hire don the spot. Since going back to my natural hair, it has become extremely difficult to land a job, or is the recession? I also feel with times increasing of racial divide, that may play a part too.
I normally wear my hair in a fro with a flower on the side or head band, or I do twists or twist outs. I have noticed that walking in to an interview, despite my crisp, pressed clothes, I still get that look of, “Oh, this is her. She sounded different on the phone. She is definitely not hired.” I tend to have a “white voice” on the phone, but aside from that, given that I clearly filled out the job application, checking the black box and writing my very ethnic, French derived name, employers still seemed shocked.
I remembered going to an interview a year or so ago and I walked into the man’s office and he immediately stared at my hair as he greeted me. I had done a twist out and it was perfect, if I do say so myself. The entire interview he never looked at me. He stared at my hair, even as he spoke. When the interview was over, I was sure I had not got the job. I went to the bathroom because I thought that there may have been something in my hair. There was nothing. He was disturbed by my hair. The kicker? He was a black man. When I realized that he did not like my hair, I was disgusted, probably more so than him.
I wonder if employers do interviews despite me checking the black box, in hopes that I will be some mixed mulatto with long wavy hair. Are they appalled by my dark skin? Is it my naturally, curly, dark chocolate hair? Is it that my vocabulary is unheard of for someone my race and gender? What is it that puts the employer off? What is so unsettling?
I stopped asking these questions a while ago because I realized that I don’t belong in the corporate world anyway. I have kinky curly hair, dark skin, tattoos, and curves for days. I love the way I look and I know that I would be the best person for the positions I applied for. That was their loss in deciding that my hair/skin was a factor in whether or not they hired me. I have excellent work experience in many areas and I work hard.
I write this post because there are many other women like me who are currently experiencing this type of discrimination every single day. There’s probably a woman right now sitting in an interview, who will not get the job because of her natural, beautiful hair, or her rich, chocolate skin. I am here to tell you Queen, don’t worry about it. Your talents will be best used elsewhere. Don’t change your appearance or views of yourself because of someone who does not appreciate your beauty, who chooses to overlook your over-qualifications. Keep soaring!