THE OTHER WEEK, I WAS LAYING ON THE COUCH, CHANNEL SURFING AND I STUMBLED UPON THE BLACK GIRLS ROCK AWARDS SHOW ON BET. FIRST, I GOT MAD AT MYSELF FOR FORGETTING IT AIRED THAT NIGHT LOL. ONCE I GOT OVER THAT, I BEGAN TO ENJOY THE PERFORMANCES, HONOREES’ SPEECHES (JANELLE MONAE’S WAS SO MOVING) AND A THE GLORIOUS HEADS OF NATURAL HAIR THE BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMEN WERE SPORTING. I WAS FULLY ENTHRALLED IN THE SHOW WHEN THEY CUT TO A SHOT OF BET CEO, DEBRA LEE. SHE WAS ROCKING A BEAUTIFUL TWA (TEENY WEENY AFRO)! I WAS SHOCKED, AMAZED AND EXCITED ALL AT ONCE! SHE LOOKED SO YOUNG AND FRESH! MS. LEE LOOKED SO DIFFERENT YET EXACTLY THE SAME. IT WAS LIKE REBIRTH. SHE NOW LOOKED LIKE HER AUTHENTIC SELF; EXACTLY THE WAY GOD CREATED HER IN THE WOMB.

debra lee4
DEBRA LEE, BET CEO

THERE ARE MANY BLACK WOMEN WHO HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO GO NATURAL BUT THERE ARE TONS WHO ARE HESITANT BECAUSE OF THEIR PROFESSION. SOME WOMEN BELIEVE, “NATURAL HAIR ISN’T PROFESSIONAL. HOW CAN I EXPECT TO MOVE UP IN A COMPANY WITH MY HAIR IN AN AFRO?” THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF WOMEN WHO HAVE DONE IT. THERE ARE MANY CEOS AND PRESIDENTS OF COMPANIES THAT ARE NOT BLACK OWNED WHO WERE COURAGEOUS AND TOOK THAT LEAP INTO NATURALAND. WAS IT EASY? I’M SURE IT WASN’T. EMOTIONALLY IT CAN BE VERY TRYING. YOU WORRY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK OR SAY. OFTEN TIMES, AFRICAN AMERICAN CO-WORKERS THROW MORE SHADE THAN THEIR CAUCASIAN COUNTERPARTS. I’VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY, “WHY WOULD YOU EMBARRASS US AND WEAR YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT HERE?” I DON’T THINK THESE INDIVIDUALS MAKE THESE COMMENTS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE HURTFUL. I BELIEVE THEY GENUINELY BELIEVE THEY ARE TRYING TO SAVE  PAIN AND EMBARRASSMENT. THIS IS ONE REASON WHY YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EAR MUFFS ON! DON’T FEED INTO ANY OF THE NEGATIVITY WHILE YOU ARE ON YOUR NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY. IT’S ALWAYS HARD BEING A PIONEER AND STEPPING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. DON’T ALLOW THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS TO DELEGATE THE DECISIONS YOU MAKE. SO WHAT IF PEOPLE GIVE YOU THE SIDE EYE. YOU’RE GOING NATURAL FOR YOURSELF; NOT FOR TRACEY WHO WORKS IN THE CUBICLE TO YOUR LEFT. AT WORK, WOMEN ARE OFTEN DEEMED WEAK AND WE DESIRE TO BE VIEWED AS POWERFUL  LIKE OUR MALE COLLEAGUES. IN MY OPINION, THIS IS ALL THE MORE REASON TO GO NATURAL; NATURAL HAIR SCREAMS POWER. TO ME, IT REPRESENTS PRIDE, LOYALTY, CULTURE, INTELLIGENCE AND INTEGRITY.

IF YOU STILL FIND YOURSELF SCARED TO GO NATURAL, TAKE A NOTE FROM URSULA BURNS, CEO OF XEROX. SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN PEOPLE IN BUSINESS AND SHE WEARS A LOW CUT ‘FRO. IT’S NOT ABOUT THE HAIR ON YOUR HEAD, IT’S ABOUT THE BRAIN IN YOUR HEAD. FOCUS ON YOUR PERFORMANCE AT WORK. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOUR CAUCASIAN SUPERVISOR MAY THINK OF YOUR TRESSES. SURPRISINGLY, I RECEIVE A TON OF COMPLIMENTS FROM OLDER WHITE MEN AND I LIVE IN RURAL SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI (I THINK THEY MAY HAVE HAD CRUSHES ON DIANA ROSS  DURING THEIR YOUTH BECAUSE MANY REFERENCE HER LOL). I WOULD SAY I RECEIVE 50% OF THE COMPLIMENTS ABOUT MY NATURAL HAIR FROM WHITE AMERICANS. USUALLY IT’S, ” I LOVE YOUR HAIR!” OR “YOUR HAIR IS SO COOL!” I’VE HAD MANY CONVERSATIONS WITH NATURALISTAS WHO BELIEVE WHITES ARE MORE ACCEPTING OF THE NATURAL LOOK THAN BLACKS. COULD THIS BE TRUE? WITHIN THE PAST TWO YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN AN INFLUX OF COMMERCIALS AND ADS DISPLAYING WOMEN WHO HAVE NATURAL HAIR OF ALL LENGTHS AND TEXTURES. COULD WE BE HOLDING OURSELVES BACK? POSSIBLY.

        URSULA BURNS,  XEROX CEO

ONE THING I DO KNOW ABOUT SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMEN IS THEY ARE CONFIDENT, WILLING TO TAKE RISKS AND STRONG-WILLED. MS. LEE WENT NATURAL AND SHE DID SO IN FRONT OF THE JUDGING EYES OF THE PUBLIC. TAKE A NOTE FROM HER. NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE; DO YOU! DON’T ALLOW HOW SOMEONE ELSE FEELS OR WHAT THEY MAY SAY HINDER YOU FROM LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE; THE WAY YOU CHOOSE.  BE BOLD, BE BEAUTIFUL, BE BLACK.

 

About these ads