Speaking to many women with natural hair in America, the way you wear your hair to work can be a source of anxiety and sometimes even trauma. There is pressure to wear ones’ hair straight, which is often deemed “presentable” in the work. Whether it’s navigating how to wear your hair for an interview or changing your hair into box braids for summer only not to be recognized by your co-workers, natural hair in the workplace is unnecessarily stressful. Well, now, California is helping you deal with that.
California lawmakers have passed The CROWN Act, a bill to protect Black employees and students by outlawing discrimination against people with natural hairstyles like afros, dreadlocks, braids, and twists. The bill states, “The history of our nation is riddled with laws and societal norms that equated ‘blackness’ and the associated physical traits, for example, dark skin, kinky and curly hair to a badge of inferiority.” The bill shines light (and protection) on the fact that European aesthetics have been the standard for beauty and have unfairly targeted Black workers and students more than any other group.
The CROWN Act stands for ‘Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair. While there were no “no” votes, Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles told NPR, “I have no idea why they abstained.” There were 10 politicians that chose not to vote on the bill including Frank Bigelow, Joe Cervantes, Steve Cooley, Duke Cunningham, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, Monique Limon, Evan Low, Kevin McCarty and Melissa Melendez. While it wasn’t important to them, it was important to Mitchell, who told NPR, “The sheer volume of women and men and parents of students who have been sent home because someone deems their braids, twists, or locs were inappropriate for workplace settings, the sheer volume of people, suggests this clearly is a law whose time has come.”
Dove was criticized in 2017 for a body lotion ad featuring a Black woman who took off her shirt to become a white woman, has supported this bill. The brand has also been working diligently for more representation, partnering with Getty Images and more.
New York and New Jersey has proposed similar legislation. In February, NYC enacted its own policy protecting afros, braids, fades and other black hairstyles.
We hope more states take a look at the CROWN Act and start to enact their own legislation.
Check Out The Best In Met Gala Hair Donned By Black Women Over The Years
1. Lupita Nyong'o Met Gala 2016Source:Getty 1 of 23
2. Lupita Nyong'o Met Gala 2016Source:Getty 2 of 23
3. Zendaya Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 3 of 23
4. Zendaya Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 4 of 23
5. Janelle Monae Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 5 of 23
6. Janelle Monae Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 6 of 23
7. Iman Met Gala 1999Source:Getty 7 of 23
8. Iman Met Gala 1999Source:Getty 8 of 23
9. Solange Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 9 of 23
10. Solange Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 10 of 23
11. Kerry Washington Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 11 of 23
12. Kerry Washington Met Gala 2018Source:Getty 12 of 23
13. Chanel Iman Met Gala 2013Source:Getty 13 of 23
14. Chanel Iman Met Gala 2013Source:Getty 14 of 23
15. Naomi Campbell Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 15 of 23
16. Naomi Campbell Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 16 of 23
17. Zendaya Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 17 of 23
18. Zendaya Met Gala 2017Source:Getty 18 of 23
19. Janet Jackson Met Gala 2008Source:Getty 19 of 23
20. Janet Jackson Met Gala 2008Source:Getty 20 of 23
21. Chanel Iman Met Gala 2014Source:Getty 21 of 23
22. Chanel Iman Met Gala 2014Source:Getty 22 of 23
23. Solange Met Gala 2013Source:Getty 23 of 23
Dear Black Women: California Just Passed An Act To Help Protect Your Crown was originally published on hellobeautiful.com