By: Cecelie Tonero
People belonging to all types of minorities are constantly denied jobs because of their natural hairstyles. Numerous cases of students are forced to hide their natural looks due to school discrimination.
In 2015, actress Zendaya, was discriminated by E!’s Fashion Police Oscars edition show host, Giuliana Rancic, where she made a remark regarding her dreadlock hairstyle. She stated it made her look as if she smelled like “patchouli oil and weed”. Then again, in December of 2018, Andrew Johnson, a highschool wrestler at Buena Regional High School in Buena, New Jersey, was forced by a reefer to cut off his dreadlocks or he could not continue the match. Those are just two of the millions of cases of hair discriminationacross the US.
On January 1st of 2020, California became the first state in the US to put an end to discrimination against natural hair in workplaces and schools. The Crown Law (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) was set to ban dicrimination against various natural hair styles including afros, braids, twists and locks.
New York City’s governor, Andrew Coumo, signed a bill to protect natural hairstyles in public schools and workplaces of New York City. This makes New York the second state in the US to fight against hair discrimination. New York City has ability to issued a $250,000 US fine to anyone who violates this hair discrimination law.
Natural hairstyles are something important for the minorities of the US. Many people have been discriminated for the way their hair is styled, causing them to lose job opportunities unless they get rid of certain ways to connect them to their culture. Things like natural hairstyles, help these minorities feel like they have a part of themselves being stripped away in millions of states in the US, when no one should be discriminated against, so hopefully this law will spread to the rest of the US.