Today marks the first anniversary of the CROWN Act, an act that makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their hairstyle or hair texture.
First passed in California, it is only a law in 7 states and two municipalities.
Think about that for a minute.
In 43 states, people can still be discriminated against because of the hair texture that naturally grows from their heads.
Essentially, people can be legally discriminated against for not being born with straight hair, and for not modifying their hair to accommodate social “professional” (read: Eurocentric) norms.
How RIDICULOUS is that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?
Individual self expression through beauty is just that- an individual choice. It is part of our chosen identity. The only things our selected hairstyles can hurt is ourselves: our pocketbooks (because styling isn’t cheap!) and depending on our style, our health (because A: chemicals and B: the lengths we can go to not sweat out a good blowout!).
Textured hair is honestly nothing short of frigging magical. Seriously. In the same week (well, with the help of skilled hands) we can theoretically wear it in an Afro, twists, braids, a blowout, shoulder length or with bundles and bundles down to our ankles that would make even Rapunzel turn her head.
That being said, how anyone chooses to wear their hair - or how nature decides their hair grows:
is in no way negatively reflective of their character,
has absolutely no bearing on their work or school performance
should have absolutely no relevance to how they are treated
...and is frankly nobody else’s business.
Let’s face it- what styles are and aren’t ‘professional’ or ‘distracting’ were likely arbitrarily selected and maintained by a bunch of white men who may or may not have even had hair. Newsflash - no one (legally) owns anybody else anymore. So why are other people still trying to legally have jurisdiction over and police and control our bodies???
I’m going to call it like I see it- that’s stupid.
Being yourself should not be a radical act. But apparently it is. So I admire the many women who are at the top of their game and unapologetically rock their crowns.
So, go on @badassboz - keep being yourself and snagging those C-level jobs with your Diana Ross bundles.
So, go ahead, drive performance and rock those braids, @thasunda CEO of Chase Consumer Banking.
So, keep at it, @serenawilliams the GOAT - wear your hair and your outfits however you wish and keep making your opponents shudder.
Because, let’s face it. People aren’t mad because our hair is ‘distracting’ - it’s just because they’re jealous of what they cannot have. ;-)
So, if you live anywhere the CROWN Act has not yet been passed (Anywhere beyond CA, NY, NJ, VA, MD, CO, WA, Cincinnati, OH), press your local officials to do so.
Keep rocking your crowns, ladies! I rediscovered the joy of braids last year and you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t Queen Nefertiti herself - I miss them oh so badly.
P.S. If you’re now going back to your stylist - don’t forget to mask up!