BLACK WOMEN WORRIED ABOUT ARMY HAIR REGULATIONS

BLACK WOMEN WORRIED ABOUT ARMY HAIR REGULATIONS

 

storyidforme: 64637330 tmspicid: 23140868 fileheaderid: 11244612

Army Black Hair

This undated image provided by the US Army shows new Army grooming regulations for females. New Army regulations meant to help standardized and professionalize soldiers appearance is now coming under criticism by some black military women, who say changes in the requirement for their hair are racially biased. The Army earlier this week issued new appearance standards, which included bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows, all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. More than 11,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Barack Obama, the commander-in-chief, to have the military review the regulations to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles. (AP Photo/US Army)

Updated: April 7, 2014 1:50PM

WASHINGTON — New Army regulations meant to help standardize and professionalize soldiers’ appearance are now coming under criticism by some black military women, who say changes in the hair requirement are racially biased.

The Army last week issued new appearance standards, which included bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows, all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. More than 10,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Barack Obama to have the military review the regulations to allow for “neat and maintained natural hairstyles.”

Some black military women, who make up about a third of the women in the armed forces, feel they have been singled out with these new regulations.

“I think that it primarily targets black women, and I’m not in agreement with it,” said Patricia Jackson-Kelley of the National Association of Black Military Women. “I don’t see how a woman wearing three braids in her hair, how that affects her ability to perform her duty in the military.”

Even before the current controversy, the association had already planned to showcase the hairstyles of African-American women in the military throughout the years at its national convention in Phoenix in September.

While she also feels the new regulations unfairly target black women, former association president Kathleen Harris said she could understand why the regulations needed some uniformity. “The military is supposed to be conservative,” she said. “My thing is that some folks look gorgeous in their twists, and some people go overboard. The twists are not small twists but they’re real large ones and it doesn’t fit the cover, your hat.”

The changes and several other Army appearance modifications were first published in the Army Times.

“The Army is a profession, and one of the ways our leaders and the American public measure our professionalism is by our appearance,” Army Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III said of the updates on the Army’s website.

The changes also banned several male hairstyles, including Mohawks and long sideburns. Body piercings were also specifically banned, with an exception made for earrings. Also banned was the use of wireless earpieces outside a vehicle and tattoos visible below the elbow or knee or above the neckline. Current soldiers would be permitted to keep any tattoos not deemed racist, sexist or extremist.

SOURCE

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

3 responses to “BLACK WOMEN WORRIED ABOUT ARMY HAIR REGULATIONS

  1. Mark Lussky

    How does the new Army hair standard compare with the hair standards of the other uniformed services?

    MODERATOR: In answer to your question, I have put up an update on the hair issue. Hope the new post answers your question.

  2. Pingback: UPDATE: ARMY’S BAN ON DREADLOCKS, OTHER STYLES SEEN AS OFFENSIVE TO SOME AFRICAN-AMERICANS | BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

  3. Pingback: UPDATE: ARMY’S BAN ON DREADLOCKS, OTHER STYLES SEEN AS OFFENSIVE TO SOME AFRICAN-AMERICANS | BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s