Sexism and hair

November 7, 2019
last modified: November 7, 2019

I've been noticing more and more how so many women in media seem to wear the same hairstyle: smooth, longer, often heat styled into waves. I came across this article that speaks to this phenomenon...https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.instyle.com/hair/secret-beauty-rules-of-television-talking-heads%3famp=trueI started thinking about my own lifetime of hair "adventures" and how subtle or blatant sexism has been a part of that. In my 20s I had a shag cut that I occasionally curled. One day a man at my workplace (I was a civilian administrative assistant for the US Air Force) walked into my office and asked if I'd done something different to my hair. When I said I had curled it, he replied, "Yeah... don't ever do that again." I was young and insecure in many ways, and I felt so devalued as an employee. I didn't know what to say in reply, so I remained silent. And I stopped curling my hair.
I recently went from longer hair to a pixie cut, as most of you know. A male supervisor in my office remarked on my change in appearance (which happened gradually), and said in a joking manner, "Well, whenever you come in with a buzz cut, we'll have to have a little talk!"
Oh? Will we?
I don't want to come across as the militant, angry older woman, but my God. It's nearly 2020 and some men apparently still think it's their prerogative to comment on our appearance. I realize I am not saying anything new here.
Have any of you received comments in the workplace about your hairstyle or appearance that left you feeling judged? Even seemingly innocuous comments made in passing have a way of conveying passive aggressive undertones IMO. I find myself rather taken aback that they still happen when it's almost 2020.

Comments (70)

  • Lars

    I think that sexism in this country varies depending on where you live, and some parts of the country are more sexist than others. My sister in Texas reports problems to me that I doubt she would experience in California - or at least not in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where I have lived. I left Texas for good reasons.

    Back in the 1990s, I heard someone on TV (I believe they were in NY) talking about how female newscasters looked in various parts of the U.S. They said that on the East Coast they were very conservative and professional looking, but as you moved further west, the look changed so that by the time you got to L.A. they looked like prostitutes. That is not the case anymore, but I do remember newscasters here wearing what I thought was inappropriate attire for a newscaster, especially the women giving weather reports. I've also seen parodies of this showing men watching weather girls just to ogle them and not pay attention to the weather report. If someone wears something extremely distracting, it is more difficult to take them seriously, especially for men, who respond to visual cues more strongly than women.

    Men have fewer fashion options in these times, partly thanks to Beau Brummel, who is responsible for making men's fashion much more conservative. In the 1970s, things loosened up for men a bit, but that was temporary. I would like to see the same fashion rules for men that women have. I do frequently see men wearing kilts here, but it's not a major trend. There are a lot of men who like to wear women's clothes and makeup, and they do not have to be gay. It was common in the 18th Century for men to wear wigs, elaborate clothing, and make-up, but this was what Beau Brummel did not like. You can trace conservative Western fashion back to England and blame it on the British.

    As a fashion designer, I have studied the history of fashion quite a bit.


    I think this is a good topic to talk about out loud, in a safe setting so that we (all people in the world) can discover our feelings on this. So much of what we say, how we think, ultimately judge others and ourselves in any way is not really from our own thoughts. We do these things due to the way we were directly raised, what we observed growing up and as being young adults around elders and peers and subconsciously accepted as "this is how people, thus me, behave, think, speak". It gets passed on through the generations. Whether good or bad.

    What I experienced as a teenager and young woman makes me cringe and I feel sad for young me. I want to hug her and tell her that anyone's opinion of young me is garbage whether is was complimentary or negative. What really matters is how *I* feel about me and my accomplishments and overcoming challenges. I was objectified daily out in the world and strangely, in my own family. I was complimented and criticized each day on my appearance. Oh, you are so beautiful...followed by, If you would just lose 15lbs you'd be perfect. Daily. By people I knew and by complete strangers. Daily. As if anything like that matters one iota to anyone. Yet, people felt free to say such things, daily.

    I started going grey at 18. I was criticized for that. I didn't color my hair until about age 23 or so. Then I was criticized for that.

    The point being, what flew as normal small talk in the past is considered abhorrent behavior today in many cases. It seems to me that much of our self talk is back and forth--you go girl!, You are doing great! Oh, you really should get a better haircut or step up the outfits, get to the gym more, etc... Back and forth, all in the same thought bubble. I think it is good to have these types of discussions. They are beneficial, especially for "older" women as we live with one foot back in past decades and the other foot in present day. It can be hard to find a level footing battling deep ingrained negative self talk and what we used to put up with as normal every day inappropriate behaviors and dialogs to us, about us, towards others. I hope I'm making sense.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is we, as a collective are benefiting from having these discussions to free us from these limiting dialogues that still happen, whether internal ones or out loud ones. Whether we are on the receiving end, or doing the talking ourselves. I notice that I will sometimes say things to one of my daughters, things like, oh, you look great today (she did hair and make up for example). I mean it as a compliment. I truly do. But I realize that it might also imply that perhaps she looks bad on other days? Hmm. I am unsure...is it best to not make comments on anyone's appearance? Should we still compliment? Discussions like this cause us to examine, learn and do better.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    About women in TV news, back in 1989ish I did a demo tape for working in front of the camera. I showed up in a coat dress from Talbots with short sleeves. I might as well have been nekkid with the reaction I got. How we went from that to where we are I have no idea.

  • IdaClaire

    Once again, I am humbled and amazed by the thoughtful, insightful, generous, beautiful, understanding discussion in this place.

    Thank you all. SO much food for thought in this one.

  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

    Honestly, the first comment of don't do that again is boorish behavior and is simply unacceptable to say to any adult, even by a parent.

    Personally, I feel that all male newscasters look basically the same. Well groomed, clean cut, suit and tie. It is one profession where they all look boring.

    There can still be quite a bit of stereotypes for males as well. My 13 year old son likes longer hair. The number of asinine comments from people in this day and age about that astounds me.

    ETA: I do though understand the tension about how one presents oneself in certain jobs. I like the flexibility that I see happening in many areas say with body art, etc., hair colors, etc. but I think consideration should still be given to context and presenting yourself in a certain way for certain situations. While the uniform for all newscasters (male and female) tends to be boring, I hope they are allowed the freedom to dress the way they want in their every day life.

  • maddielee

    For those who find male newscasters boring because of their wardrobes, what type of clothing would you consider ok?

    I see field reporters dressed appropriately for the story they are covering.

    And then there is this weatherman who outdid himself wardrobe wise.

  • lascatx

    I agree with you about the TV "code" but do see some inroads being made. We have a local reporter who wouldn;'t have been on TV back in the days when I was in the newsroom. She MIGHT have been hired behind the scenes. But she has a great personality and is a good reporter who has established her niche and covers other things well too.

    But I disagree with you about men not getting comments about their hair. I know my husband sons get comments on their hair cuts and even their clothes. i think what is disconcerting in your situation is that men in positions of influence, if not power, expressing disapproval in a way that suggests that they have a say or can control your sense of style or appearance -- and that is something men can be tone deaf to.

  • Michele

    I think I liked where men’s fashion was going back then. A little more style. Just to open up options a bit. I think for broadcasting news, since it’s generally serious and often somber I think ”non flashy” is a wise choice for all.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    If you think about it, I don't think you would have liked a woman saying "Well, whenever you come in with a buzz cut, we'll have to have a little talk," either.

  • patriceny

    You made perfect sense to me Sea Sea.

    I'm really enjoying this discussion. Lots of food for thought.

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    I usually find humor in these situations seems to smooth over anything that might ruffle one's feathers, one way or another. If a supervisor said something to me about coming in with a buzz cut, I probably would've responded with, I won't so long as you don't come in with a ru paul wig. Or I would've responded, no buzz cut, but I am working on a nice mustache...

  • graywings123

    There are exceptions

  • grapefruit1_ar

    I freely offer compliments to colleagues, friends, and strangers, male or female. They are hopefully nothing to make someone uncomfotable.

    Mtn, I cannot imagine working with people who use the ' f-word"! At this point in my life I have chosen not to be around people who talk that way.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    Skipped down to comment, will go back & read it all later.

    I've been hearing quite a bit of reporting lately about how much professional women spend on their appearance, compared to professional men, & no surprise, it's quite a bit more - esp. for African American women. Hair is a big expense - possibly the biggest overall, since it can be a weekly cost. Then there are manicures & makeup.

    And I do agree that some people are simply unself-consciously rude, and there isn't much that can done to fix that. 1 of my supervisors is a woman and she is consistently rude in her attitudes and demeanor - often focussing on her phone in the middle of a conversation. She's even said to staff she knows she has RBF, but the thing is, she seems never to make any effort to change, and I hate asking her questions about anything, because afterward, I always feel sorry I did.

    IMO, complimenting someone on their appearance is good etiquette when it is sincere and not overly personal, i.e. 'that color looks good on you', 'I like your new hairstyle'. Critiquing anybody's appearance, other than someone you have a very close personal relationship with, is not, whether they are male or female, unless it is your job to do so, as in a mgr. letting an employee know they're not complying with a dress code.

  • OutsidePlaying

    I understand completely what you are trying to say, Ida. Hair is just a part of it but a big part because men seem to have a preconceived idea that long flowing hair is what women should have, no matter what. I think some express it (in a clumsy fashion) more than others and some maybe don’t give a dam, but the majority just can’t seem to let women make a personal decision when it comes to their own hair. Some are just rude, like the men in your examples. Totally off-base in their comments. I might have asked if there was a hair code in the company.

    Mind has almost always been mid length, never really short and only a few years, back in the 60’s and early 70’s, was it fairly long. Anything long or short just doesn’t suit me or my face shape. DD on the other hand has been all over the place, and when hers was very short, she really heard the comments about it being ‘butch’ a few times. Never mind that she was 9 months pregnant and it looked cute on her and was easy.

  • IdaClaire

    I do think it can boil down to intent. Some people are, as we've established, just awkward and clumsy, and they don't know HOW to say the right thing. Or they think they're saying the right thing -- they MEAN to say the right thing -- but it somehow comes out strangely. I've seen this happen with the men in my personal world. Hell, it happens with me. That sort of thing doesn't have a gender assignation.

    I see nothing whatsoever wrong with giving genuine compliments to my colleagues, both female and male. To the guys, I've been known to say, "That's a good color for you" or "Hey, the new facial hair looks great!" I cannot imagine anyone taking offense over those sorts of things. We have bodies; we wear clothing and accessories. We NOTICE, and if we're genuinely, appropriately complimentary, I think that's fine.

    The issue does arise, as pointed above, when it's someone who is in a superior position making the comment and it is delivered in such a way as to make the recipient feel as though the superior has any say over hairstyles and the like. (And yes, I know in some workplaces there IS a code, but I'm not talking about that.) Also, if the comment is an unsolicited critique of another's appearance by a peer, that too is unwelcome and inappropriate IMO.

    Profanity in the workplace doesn't bother me for the most part. I often find myself substituting a less coarse word for the one I really mean in certain company, but I know those with whom I can let the f-bombs fly. It's all about discernment, and hopefully by the time we've reached a certain age or experience level, we have it and put it to consistent use.

  • texanjana

    When I was in my early twenties, I cut my long hair into a pixie. A male co-worker asked me if I had become a lesbian. I was so floored I didn’t respond, just gave him my best stink eye. Why the hell do men continue to get away with this behavior?

  • IdaClaire

    I usually find humor in these situations seems to smooth over anything that might ruffle one's feathers, one way or another. If a supervisor said something to me about coming in with a buzz cut, I probably would've responded with, I won't so long as you don't come in with a ru paul wig. Or I would've responded, no buzz cut, but I am working on a nice mustache...

    Those are the sorts of things I usually think to say after the fact, but I'm trying to get better about deflecting with humor in certain situations. (I am, in fact, working on a nice goatee. Just ask me on any given day when I've forgotten to tweeze the night before.)

  • Lars

    Unlike mtnrdredux, I have worked in a female dominated industry, and so my boss for the past 30 years was a woman. One year I gave her a DVD copy of The Devil Wears Prada, and she told me that she identified with the Meryl Streep character, which did not surprise me. My boss sweared as much as any man, but I got used to it, even though I do not swear myself. The good thing that the industries that I've worked in (in the jobs I've had) was that I could wear pretty much anything that I wanted. The bad thing about that was that I spent too much on clothes and shoes.

    At one point I asked the VP why they didn't hire more men in the office, and she told me that they wanted to but that they were difficult to get.

    My sister works in a male-dominated profession (attorney), and so her experiences are very different from mine. She said that the men in her office who did the hiring would hire secretaries based on their looks instead of their competence, and this bothered my sister no end, as she wanted a competent secretary. I don't think they would have even considered hiring a male secretary, although my boss here did.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

    I am not idealistic so I find it easier to go with the unspoken rules, whatever they are, then buck them. For instance, attractive - whatever that currently is -- people statistically get ahead faster and further than those perceived as less attractive.

    In the referenced article from Ida, Brittney Noble Jones lost her job because of her natural hair. That was interesting, btw! I personally would rather keep doing what was needed to my hair if it meant keeping my job but I've never been an activist.

  • 3katz4me

    Yes, I've been in the work environment where the f-bomb was used from time to time, in my experience more by men. However DH comments how his top salesperson (female) uses the f-word quite frequently. He does not use it , doesn't like it and whenever I do he says "do you eat with that same mouth"? That response has caused me to reduce my use of the word around the house and I didn't use it all that much at work. Sorry - off the hair topic....

  • IdaClaire

    I have always worked in conservative fields, and can count on one hand the number of males I have seen in administrative assistant roles. They were without doubt among the best as far as professionalism and skillset, and I always enjoyed working with them. I don't know if that had anything to do with the fact that they were male; or perhaps in a female-dominated arena, they HAD to prove themselves as outstanding employees.

  • kkay_md

    I went through high school with long, blonde hair. It got a lot of attention from boys, which I sometimes liked (though sometimes did not). The week before I went off to university, I got my hair lopped off in a "boy cut" --very short. I wanted to be completely free from the attention that I had gotten with my longer hair. It really changed how people interacted with me, and how I saw myself. It felt very freeing. It marked a sea change in how I interacted with the world.

  • IdaClaire

    Thanks for explaining, Bumblebeez. I get what you're saying. I can't say I'd want to proceed that way, but I can understand the viewpoint. I wouldn't consider myself an activist, but I do think there remain circumstances where even small changes in attitudes and acceptance create ripples of betterment that help make an easier way of things for those coming up after us. But I also know we each have our own approach to things, and have to follow our inner promptings in whichever way they lead.

  • IdaClaire

    kkay -- how did your short hair change your interactions with others? Do you feel you were treated with more respect or that you went less "noticed"?

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    In finance, I actually saw fair number of male admin. assistants. I think perhaps because the pay is particularly good in that industry, even for staff. It was often those who had creative pursuits on the side (this being NYC). I had a male admin for maybe 7-8 years. He was great. I didn't really see any gender diff one way or the other in admin.s

    Being "attractive" is an advantage for anyone. Attractive people are viewed as more intelligent, more reliable and more likeable. It is what it is and so one would be silly not to be mindful of its power.

  • IdaClaire

    Being "attractive" is an advantage for anyone. Attractive people are viewed as more intelligent, more reliable and more likeable. It is what it is and so one would be silly not to be mindful of its power.

    Yes, this is an age-old reality. The older I get, the more my view of "attractiveness" expands though. Maybe this kinda goes along with the thread on ugliness/beauty -- it's something that has and continues to evolve for me, encompassing my own appearance and that of others as well. I think that's why it's somewhat irksome when I encounter niches where attractiveness still seems to be very narrowly defined, and where people (usually women) are inordinately determined to fit within parameters that someone else deems acceptable. It has to do with wanting something badly enough to be willing to pay the set price for it, I suppose.

  • l pinkmountain

    No question that looks count. Still quite a bit of leeway because people are diverse in their taste. But there still are some rules that I don't mind obeying. My husband hates short hair so I keep mine the ubiquitous med. length bob look but not just for him. Luckily for my husband I don't have the time or money to keep up a cute short haircut or I would do it. But don't even get me started on ageism, which is related to looks. It is what it is. Try to look good for work, but not "too good" so that you stand out too much, no way one can say is doesn't or shouldn't count. Your work persona should not be distracting, either in a positive or negative way. That's human nature, that's life. Ignore it at your own risk. I have ignored it quite a bit in my life and have probably paid a small price for that, perhaps more than small, I'm not sure. Swim against the current if you wish, if it is that important to you, I do when it is. One can have a career and buck the norm, but you may have to look long and hard for a team that supports you, and you may have to move far away from home. Ask me how I know . . .

    Don't play into a stereotype but don't try to mold yourself too much into something you're not is my principle. Same with home decor. One can be tasteful in many, many ways with both appearance and personal looks. My best friend is 6 ft. tall and athletic. She has had to suffer prejudice and obstacles her whole life based on her height. Not from everyone she encounters, certainly not me and a whole host of others who know her. But a significant number of others are quite obnoxious about it to her, she has the tales.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    In French there is a saying, There are no ugly women, only women who do not know how to make the most of what they have. There is the concept of the "jolie laide;" that is to say the attractive ugly. The same holds true for men. An unattractive man who does not mkae an effort in his wardrobe and grooming will suffer in most careers. There are very few mad scientists working by themselves in a dungeon.

    One time I was having my hair blow dried and the woman doing my hair told me how much better my husband was going to like the straight hair. How wrong she was. How sad to think there are people whose spouses don't find them attractive as they are.

  • terezosa / terriks

    When my daughter was young she had long hair that fell in ringlets down her back. When she was about 5 or 6 one of our male neighbors told her it was so beautiful and to never cut it. I didn't say anything to him, but I did tell my daughter that she could do whatever she wanted with her hair. I didn't want her growing up thinking that she had to conform her look to please men.

  • IdaClaire

    My ex once told a little girl who could have been no more than six years old (in church, of all places), "You're gonna be a knockout when you grow up." WTH kind of thing is that to say to a little girl?! Oh well. He was an idiot.

  • eld6161

    Hence, your ex.

  • IdaClaire

    Bingo. ;-)

  • Annette Holbrook(z7a)

    So this makes me realize how influenced we are by news figures. I grew up in Atlanta and watched channel 2 local news for most of my life. It was an odd situation in that the main anchor for 32 years (1975-2007) was the same woman. She was a beautiful woman but not a trendy person. I think she had the same hairstyle for many of those years. I sill expect to see her when I turn on the news :(. The female anchors that followed are all the same for the most part.

  • Lars

    I was not allowed to grow my hair long when I was a child, and I hated having it cut short. No one ever told me that I could wear my hair the way I wanted, and I was forced to conform, no matter what. However, as soon as I did move away from home, I stopped cutting my hair and let it grow long. What I hated most as a child was being forced to have a flat-top or some military style haircut. I would wear a paper bag over my head for days after having my hair cut as a flat-top, and so eventually my father stopped making me have that haircut. I did grow up thinking I had to conform my look to please men - namely my father.

    I have no fond memories of my father. He was cruel to many people, but mostly his immediate family. He came from a long line of cruel men, and I have tried my entire life to be the opposite of him. I feel like I have succeeded.

  • mtnrdredux_gw

    That is not always how people react to having role models who are cruel, so kudos to you for being your own person and rising above him, Lars

  • Mimou-GW

    This has nothing to do with hair but, the owner of a company I once worked for, loved to barge into my office with a male client or some salesman and rifle through my file cabinet all the while proclaiming “I need to get in Mimou’s drawers” . He thought he was very amusing.

  • whatsayyou18

    Lars, I had the same experience with my mother and, like you, my goal from very early on was to be the opposite of her. I also feel I succeeded but it's a tough way to grow up. ;)

  • Feathers11

    We've come a long way in terms of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, and certainly the law, by letter, is in our favor. But complaining about sexism is still a privilege in many workplaces.

  • yeonassky

    Ida I'm sorry a higher up or anyone for that matter did this to you. It sounds like a control gambit on his part.

    (It's possible that he sees the company and everyone in it as a reflection of him. In other words in his world you all belong to him. If so How egotistical!

    You are not his puppets or play toys.

    I guess he just wants you to come to work dressed the way he expects you to be dressed with your hair styled the way he is used to and act the way he expects a woman to act and if not he will punish you with snarky snide and sexist comments.)

    No matter his motives though I think that's a very poor way to act.

    I swear . Mostly at home. Occasionally it slips out in anger in public. Though not at the job. I I have a love-hate relationship with that but when frustrated or angry there it is. I wish I could claim that the article below is right but I don't know.


  • Michele

    I have an unhappy childhood haircut memory.

    When I started kindergarten, my mother had my hair cut. Drastically. If I see a picture of myself I see how much I hated it.

  • ratherbesewing

    Some men are clueless and some are Neanderthals. I say GIVE IT RIGHT BACK! Depending on your personality, there are different ways to make your point that their comments are not appropriate, but for me, it is important I stand up for myself. Humor can work, but some people don't read the social cues.

  • jmck_nc

    I heard a piece yesterday on NPR about the accounting firm, Ernst and Young. They have been giving their female executives (very few at the top there) a "course" on "leadership" that they recently scrapped after it was outted to the public. The "course" is all about what to wear, how to appear to others (hair, nails, makeup). Also such wisdom as how not to be "aggressive", etc. How not to distract the male co-workers with their appearance...which is just bizarre after insisting on certain requirements for appearance. It was interesting to me that it was billed as "leadership". I doubt any male executives in the company had a course on appearance and demeanor.

  • grapefruit1_ar

    The fact that these things still happen is appalling. But, we have come a long way...hopefully! When I began my career (40+ years ago) fresh out of college, I had a couple of male colleagues who simply called me " Legs". I really doubt that they could do that today.

  • IdaClaire

    I am confident that every single one of us have entirely too many anecdotes from our own experiences detailing times when we felt demeaned, objectified, ridiculed, and treated as a “lesser than.” It IS infuriating, and I am also confident that although the push towards being “woke” about such things has achieved a measure of success, there remains a lot of inappropriate garbage going on out there. There remain a lot of gray areas, as well, where even those who have suffered the abuse and know what it is have difficulty in knowing how to appropriately respond in all situations.

    I know a female EY executive and thought of her when the news broke the other day and outed the firm for their discriminatory “training.” I’ll have to ask for her take on that. She has always struck me as someone who is extremely self-assured and commanding, and I cannot imagine her being on board with that sort of thing. But who knows? Maybe her outlook was more along the lines of going along with the established procedure so as not to rock the boat.

    I worked for a month – a whopping MONTH – at a small company where the boss referred to women as “skirts.” (Much like the “legs” comment above.) We interviewed during my brief time there for other positions, and he would “jokingly” ask female interviewees if they “did windows and fetched coffee.” Appalling. He threw a party for employees at his home, and insisted on giving female attendees a “tour” which culminated in a very creepy viewing of his bedroom. I will never forget how it felt to be led into that room by him, with his arm draped possessively around my shoulder. I cringe just thinking of that, even now – many years later. I left the company as a disgruntled employee, filing a complaint with the home office against this guy. I do know that legal action was brought against him at one point, but have no idea what the outcome was as I was long gone and moved on to an agreeable environment by then.

    In thinking of the truly creepy things I’ve endured in the past, I feel a wave of appreciation for those who have modeled respect and professionalism during my career. Most of my superiors have. It makes me a little more inclined to be forgiving towards the occasional lapse of thought and the comment that just comes across strangely. Things like that MAY reflect an underlying attitude, or they MAY just be attributable to social awkwardness. I do think that knowing at least a little something about the intent of the other person can make all the difference in how we choose to perceive their slips.

  • kkay_md

    Ida, I think I had felt constrained by my hair (what can I say, I was young and callow) as an expression of myself. It was beautiful hair, and it seemed to create expectations in people. So my behavior and interactions with others were likely influenced by my own appearance. As a girl with a pretty head of hair, I acted the part (as I saw it, again, callow youth), and it did, perhaps, create opportunities for me, in a sense. But without that hair (think, Sampson) that particular super-power was no longer present. I had to make it on my wit and my smarts (which I always had, excellent student and all that) but in a way that left me more exposed and without that veil of hair that created impressions and colored responses. It was bracing and refreshing for me. I think I had felt burdened by the impression it created.

  • patriceny

    It's not just sexism and hair either. There is a whole racism and hair thing too.

    In 2013 (!) - Vanessa Van Dyke, a 12-year-old African American student in a private school in Florida complained about her classmates bullying her for wearing her hair in a natural style.

    In response to her complaint, the school told her to cut or chemically straighten her hair (are you KIDDING ME?) - and when she refused to do so, she was told her natural hair violated the school's dress code.


    Hair is a complicated thing.

    I had wildly unruly hair as a youngster. It influenced a lot of my life in some pretty bad ways. There is this standard of what constitutes "good hair" and it can perpetuate some pretty awful things...mostly to women - and again, particularly to women of color.

  • cawaps

    This is about sexism related to fashion, not hair, in Japan (and Korea). Apparently it has come out that it's pretty widespread that women at some companies have been told they are not allowed to wear glasses as work. It seems to be turning into a bit of a #MeToo movement there.

    (There's a high probabilty this is paywalled, but it is probably reported elsewhere, since it has become a news story in Japan)


  • Fori

    If you think about it, when a woman makes an unsolicited comment about another woman's appearance, it does not have the same historical connotations bundled up in it that a man's making the same comment does.

    But it's in the upbringing and culture and many guys don't notice they're doing it. If you are comfortable asking a man if he talks that way to other men, do so! He might have an epiphany. Or he might just be a **** and then at least you know what you're dealing with.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

    RE: 'natural' vs. straightened hair, FWIW, such processing is done with unhealthy chemicals, a well as being expensive to maintain and destructive to one's hair.

    So it's not like it's a simple decision whether to do so or not.

    And I saw that reporting about Ernst & Young not too long ago. It was also making the rounds on Facebook.

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