In the workplace everything from hair to nails to cleavage to skirt length is scrutinized and judged. And the wrong look can mean being passed over for promotions, picked over to lead teams and in extreme cases subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
For women, professional dress is judged against the stark grooming habits of men. And the further one’s look swings the barometer away from the traditional, the greater the consequence.
Until now fashion & beauty standards in the workplace have been a hot button topic primarily in white color positions. But now beauty standards have invaded the sports world.
Case in point, Colin Kaepernick who after six years with the San Francisco 49ers, including a Super Bowl appearance, finds himself in need of a job. But no team has signed him, though plenty of journeyman quarterbacks have found work. Commentators have reasoned everything from his play to his activism but it was Michael Vick who proposed a new reason. His hair.
“The first thing we got to get Colin to do is cut his hair. Listen, I’m not up here to try to be politically correct, but even if he puts cornrows in it, I don’t think he should represent himself in that way in terms of just a hairstyle. Just go clean cut. Why not? You’re already dealing with a lot of controversy surrounding this issue. What he needs to do is just try to be presentable.”
The fact that Colin Kaepernick’s hair is even a consideration for why he is being passed over goes to show that there’s no immunity from that dreaded barometer even in the rough and tumble world of sports.
Colin, we feel your pain.
Penned by Nichelle Cole