black girl hairstyles with braids
After eight years as a account anchorman and anchor, Whitney Miller aloof started cutting her beard in braids on air. While that ability not assume like a big deal, it is, for Miller and abounding added Black changeable TV reporters.
Whitney Miller is a multimedia announcer for WCPO 9 News.
CINCINNATI — Afterwards eight years as a account anchorman and anchor, I aloof started cutting my beard in braids on air for the aboriginal time in my career.
You ability ask, “What’s the big deal?” And you’re right. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is, at atomic it is for me and abounding of the Black changeable television reporters I apperceive who are assuredly accepting the adventitious to abrasion a appearance we’ve had to account “vacation hair” for decades.
Currently, there are affluence of bodies agitation accustomed styles all over television and amusing media. Pop ability has accepted the look. But, sadly, accumulated America is apathetic to change, and TV account has been alike slower.
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An accepted rule
For a Jamaican babe like me, built-in and aloft in hot Houston, Texas, braids were a all-important go-to hairstyle.
When I was in aerial school, you would absolutely bolt me with some “Lil Mo” braids: beeline to the aback and usually with some honey albino beard added in.
I admired cutting them. I admired the affluence of alive up anniversary day and alone accepting to anguish about demography a battery and accepting dressed in the morning afore activity to school.
But in college, as I absitively to accompany a career in advertisement journalism, I accomplished my braids had to go.
It was an accepted rule. Back I interned in TV newsrooms in Chicago and Columbus, I didn’t see Black changeable reporters agitation accustomed hair. They had airy beard or weaves, wigs and extensions.
When I started my on-air career in 2012 in Alaska, I was aloof adored to get a job.
Like abounding of my colleagues, I wore my beard the way we all had been brash by advisers and professors: “professional and straight.”
For me that meant cutting weaves, wigs and extensions. I didn’t appetite to accident my accustomed curls by abacus calefaction to them every day to accumulate them straight.
Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE a acceptable wig and continued bundles, but if you assignment in the Texas heat, as I did amid 2014 and 2019, you get tired, bathed and miserable.
Switching it up
I didn’t absolutely apprehend the abridgement of buying I had in my beard until the time I approved to about-face it up.
At the time, I was advertisement during addition hot summer in Texas, and I’d had enough. So I had a adolescent ballast acquaintance (@tasharaparker) complect some cornrows for me, and over the weekend I spent hours crocheting a beautiful coiled afro.
I was so aflame to admission the attending on TV; the appearance was beautiful and way added manageable. But afterwards my weekend shift, I accustomed a argument from my bang-up adage they admired the appearance but admired I would accept consulted them afore adopting it.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel baby and owned.
Black beard is accepted for its versatility, so to be told I didn’t accept the appropriate to change it after permission was deflating. But it’s a absoluteness for so abounding Black women in this industry. Some accept alike been told apace NO to any accustomed style.
It’s frustrating. Ever back again I’ve consistently asked account managers about appearance changes. I’ve showed them pictures of added women so they accept an abstraction of what they will be getting.
But I’ve never dared to ask about braids — until now.
COVID-19 had me bottomward and I capital a change, so I accomplished out to my bang-up actuality at WCPO to ask about accepting braids. I was abashed back she said I didn’t absolutely charge to ask. In fact, she was aflame to see what it would attending like.
My account administrator alike appropriate I address about my acquaintance cutting my beard in braids on TV for the aboriginal time in my career. I’m so adored to assignment for a administration aggregation that embraces what makes their on-air aptitude different.
Braids are professional. Being “professional” shouldn’t exclude an absolute culture. It’s time for accumulated America to get with the times and acquiesce Black bodies to abrasion their beard any way they see fit.
I consistently accept acquainted that as continued as you attending nice and feel comfortable, you will do your best work. You will be your best self.
I won’t consistently abrasion braids or cornrows, but I deserve the appropriate to be able to abrasion a appearance that represents who I am and area I appear from.
So tune in and analysis out my braids — and accelerate me some afflatus from your admired braider.
In October 2019, Cincinnati anesthetized an authorization creating a ban on accustomed beard bigotry in the city. The authorization bans bigotry based on hairstyles that are “commonly associated with African Americans.” It includes beard arrangement and styles, aiming to assure cultural character throughout the city.
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