Fro’s in the City

I once heard that Natural hair was not for professional environments, that if you want to get ahead you need to straighten your hair. That it was more for people in the creative industries.

Whoever said that did not work in the City of London – I am talking, Fenchurch Street, Liverpool Street, Bank, Moorgate yeah the real city which is surrounded by top insurance and law firms.
I have been working in the city for nearly four months now and sometimes I am gutted I don’t have a camera. Why? Because there are SO many natural’s in the area.
When I see the suits, beautiful fro’s, twist outs I realise that I still have a lot to learn. I want to stop and talk to them ask them how long they have been natural, ask them how they styled their hair today yup lunch breaks could be loads more interesting if I did that.
Sadly I am not talking about the women (who are still stuck with their poker straight weaves)  it’s actually men that I am seeing.  Last week alone I saw three brotha’s sporting healthy looking fro’s and their posh suits (sorry Andrew) and believe me they were all HOT! 
One was at Bank Station and his hair was so long I was envious! So yeah…the city is a natural haven for men, single ladies come on down and this is the sort of man you will meet.
I could be in your next business meeting
Fancy a lunch date with me??

I know you are feeling my fro….

Signature

Comments

  1. It’s funny that men are more comfortable sporting natural hair than women are. In fact a lot of women (especially in the city) tend to be quite anti-natural or just see it as unprofessional.

    The men in the photos are gorgeous.

  2. why do we black women do this?.
    Why do we play this game with ourselves and pretend like black men are not looked at differently than black women?.

    I am a natural. I’ve been natural for over 15 years. I’ve worked in some of the most liberal organisations in the UK, right alongside black men who are natural.

    The men were fawned over, they were described as edgy, creative, stylish e.t.c.

    On the other hand, I had a white female top exec pull me aside and suggest that if I wanted to climb higher I needed to change my hair.
    I’ve had my hair laughed at, called crazy hair by white female colleagues and bosses.

    Black Women are not judged on the same standard as black men in anything.

    An afro on a black man is just an afro.

    An afro on a black woman is apparently something to be derided because she is daring to challenge the beauty gospel. She is apparently militant and not trying to be part of the status quo.

    Lets stop comparing apples and oranges here.

  3. @ Victoria ‘see it as unprofessional’ yup I think that is more the case

    @Anonymous, why do black women do what? I don’t believe that our men have it easier in fact I think a black man finds it harder to find his place in the professional environment, that’s why I am gushing with pride when I see them sporting their fros. I don’t judge a man wearing an afro differently from a woman wearing one so if other people want to that really is their business.

    I am sorry and shocked that you have been discriminated against. These issues with your white colleagues are things that need to be handled with HR. With things like these action always needs to be taken to avoid them happening to anyone else.

  4. I wouldn’t mind a bigger afro, but I’ve got a long way to go yet!

    @Anonymous – Guys definitely do not have it easier, I’m not sure where you would get this idea from. Black men can be seen as imposing/aggresive and having a larger afro or locks tends to accentuate this image. Which is not good for moving up the ladder.

    But a person can be discriminated against for many reasons, race, sex, age, place of education, etc. What’s more important is that when you feel you are being treated unfairly, you take action and don’t let your own views be affected of those with prejudices.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @Angel,
    Unfortunately, in my case HR was simply a corporate protectionist shield.
    I guess we will simply have to agree to disagree on black men and afros.

    You might not judge them differently, but the UK society does and it is disingenuous to act otherwise.]
    We all know what the beauty construct in this society is.
    A woman simply wearing an afro is rejecting that construct very openly indeed.

    @andrew, no beuno. If black men are seen as more aggressive for having large afros, how do you think black women are seen.. even with short afro’s.?
    nahh don’t agree with you at all.

    and thanks for the advice, however, if I let mt views be affected by other peoples prejudice, I wouldn’t have chopped off my perm in the 90’s when it wasn’t fashionable to do so.

  6. I’m yet to find any race where the females are more feared than the males.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Andrew…
    (shrug) I did not make that argument or statement.

  8. I completely agree with Anonymous. Afro hair on a woman in much more offensive in the eyes of those who don’t like us than afro hair on a man. This is probably, quite simply, because men are expected to keep their hair short anyway, so they get away with it. This is not about who is seen as aggressive or more feared, we’re talking about hair here.

  9. The reality is that it is all perception. It depends upon the point of view or personal experience of the person that you are asking. From my experience as a Black Male who has in the past worked in a corporate environment with an Afro, we definitely do not have it any easier than Black women. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that Black women have it any easier or harder either. Again it depends upon what you have experienced and the point of view (or mentality) of the people looking at your hair.

    @Jo Somebody:- I do hear what you are saying about the expectation of men keeping their hair short, but a Black man with long hair is seen just as offensive, because of that very expectation.For example a Black man with long Dreadlocks would be perceived as more of a “threat” in a White corporate environment than another Black man with short cropped/trimmed hair. The point I am making is that wither you are male or female (again this does depend upon the mentality of the person looking at your hair), how you where your hair does indeed play a great part (also how you dress, speak etc) in how people will perceive you. While I do agree with you to a certain point that is not all about aggression, you cannot dismiss it as a contributing factor all together.