Mixed race student told to ‘dye and straighten’ her hair for team photo

<p>The woman recounted her ordeal on Reddit</p>

The woman recounted her ordeal on Reddit

Getty Images/iStockphoto

A college student has shared her dismay after she says she was told to drastically alter her natural hair to fit in for a team photo.

The young woman, who describes herself as multiracial, said she was working on a project with three other girls when the confrontation occurred.

Without giving details on the nature of the project, she explained that she and the group had created a website to showcase their work and agreed to upload a “meet the team” photo.

Things took an uncomfortable turn when the other women apparently demanded that she “dye and straighten her hair” for the snap.

“For some context, I’m multiracial and the other girls are all white,” she explained in a Reddit post.

“They’re blondes whereas I have thick, curly 3C hair.” (For those who don’t know “3C hair” is made up of tight, well defined corkscrew curls.)

She continued: “They claimed that it’s better to have a uniform look and that this project is about our work and skills, not looks. They basically asked me to dye my hair blonde as well as straighten it.

“That was absolutely ridiculous and I told them there’s no way I’m going to do all of that for just a pic.”

The Redditor described her hair as thick and 3CGetty Images

The Redditor said her teammates then “ganged up” on her and accused her of being “an attention seeker” and “hard to work with”.

“There was some friction between us anyway but this incident really took it to the next level,” she went on. “I admit I was very hurt.”

Ending her post, the narrator suggested that the women may have been motivated by jealousy – admitting that her locks, which flow all the way down her back, are “probably the first feature people notice” about her.

However, she added “none of this is my fault and I don’t see why I should be punished for this.”

Fellow users of the platform flocked to offer her their support, condemning the trio’s demands as not only “unfair and out of line” but also “racist”.

One commented: “They are asking you to conform to white beauty ‘norms’. It’s like the typical micro aggression of ‘natural hair is unprofessional’ on steroids.

“Do not give in, go to your faculty advisor, counselor, or someone in authority to back you up. I’m so sorry you’re being pressured to do this.”

A second agreed, saying: “Good grief, I want this to be fake because it’s so horrible,” before instructing the original poster (OP) to report the incident .

“Welcome to the real world, girls,” they added, “where racism has professional consequences.”

Another wrote: “I can’t even believe they had the nerve to actually ask (not ever really ask, DEMAND) that???? They are clearly very threatened by your beautiful curls!!!! I would make those curls extra bouncy and big for the picture!”

Others suggested that if the other women were so desperate for a “uniform look” they should dye and perm their own hair instead.

“Exactly,” the OP responded. “Going from dark to light takes its toll on curly hair. That PLUS straightening it…? Just nuts. I’m not trying to damage my hair for a pic.”

In a separate comment, she admitted that she had called her teammates racist to their faces.

“They absolutely freaked out and accused me of being privileged,” she said.

“All three of them are from wealthy backgrounds, I am not,” she added. “The audacity of telling me I’m privileged…”

We say, all people should wear their natural hair with pride.

Ignore anyone who suggests you do otherwise.

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