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This shouldn’t be as big a accord as it is, but Symone Sanders’ new MSNBC show, Symone, is a actual big deal—representing far added than the sum of its parts.
Symone isn’t aloof addition cable account programming pivot, it’s historic: For the actual aboriginal time, a baldheaded Black woman has her own civic TV show.
Sanders is no newbie back it comes to media visibility. She’s best accepted from her assignment with Sen. Bernie Sanders—she was a TV accoutrement during his 2016 presidential campaign—and after as an adviser for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. If you chase politics, you’ve apparent (and heard) Symone Sanders.
As a baldheaded Black woman who additionally works in media, and who agreeably baldheaded her arch (as Symone did) 11 years ago, I can’t advice but bless this as a above ability for the host and a cogent footfall advanced for the country. Seeing this blazon of representation of baldheaded Black women in the media, and on a above platform, is revolutionary.
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If you’ve anytime watched Sanders you see that she is dynamic, exudes confidence, and embraces her baldness—which is article that any baldheaded woman will acquaint you can sometimes be adamantine to do. The patriarchy’s angle on how women should be cutting their beard are durably accepted in American society, and adorning Americans’ horizons on the abounding means women can be beautiful, professional, and accurate is activity to booty some time.
“I’m a bald, curvy, Black woman from North Omaha, Nebraska, with a bedazzled nail, and I like a adventurous lip—and that’s what I’m activity to abide to be,” said Sanders in a contempo BET interview.
Black women’s beard has been politicized, discriminated, and ridiculed for centuries. It’s fabricated us accept that our accustomed adorableness is ugly, undesired, and needs to be afflicted in adjustment to fit in culturally. Black women for years accept been subconsciously apprenticed by common sexism and racism into spending a affluence on haircare articles to abstain “short bristling hair” or in this case, actuality bald. And it continues to happen.
When Will Smith addled Chris Rock on alive television at the Oscars aftermost month, the agitation over whether abandon is anytime adequate and whether comedians go “too far” blocked the joke’s target. Jada Pinkett Smith, a successful, admirable Black woman, was mocked for actuality bald—and not that it should amount either way, but her alopecia is not by choice. She has been accessible about her struggles with alopecia.
In the workplace, there has been some progress, but not about enough.
The House of Representatives afresh anesthetized the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Accessible Apple for Accustomed Hair), a badly important allotment of legislation that protects the rights of Black bodies and others to abrasion their beard about they choose, after abhorrence of actuality punished or targeted at work. The bill anesthetized the House in March, with a vote of 235-189 mostly forth affair lines, but it has a black approaching in the analogously disconnected Senate.
At the accompaniment level, bans on beard bigotry accept alone been anesthetized in a dozen states.
Without the CROWN Act, Black women will still accept to appearance up to assignment borderline if actualization as their accurate selves will be accounted “unprofessional.” This is the case alike added for advertisement journalists; Black women accept been addled for cutting their accustomed beard on TV—or are generally accustomed added air time and opportunities if they align and accommodate their accustomed beard arrangement to white European adorableness standards.
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I, too, accept had adverse situations in able settings with white and macho coworkers aggravating to rub my baldheaded head. One accuser had the adventurousness to ask me if my beard was consistently bald.
Thankfully, Sanders is afterlight the calligraphy (literally) and abnegation to acquiesce stereotypes of actuality a baldheaded Black woman accumulate her from accomplishing her dreams. “My achievement is that me assuming up every day as my accurate self, continuing to accumulate the bar aerial and substantive, not [as] a burlesque of what bodies anticipate I am, but absolutely aloof actuality myself—is aperture up the aperture for added adolescent bodies to footfall into their corresponding workplaces, wherever they are, and be adequate with who they are,” said Sanders to BET. Like Sanders, I accept consistently acquainted empowered, beautiful, and on top of the apple as a baldheaded Black woman. But abounding added baldheaded Black women could still use the aplomb boost, to let them apperceive that they are absolutely enough.
For those of us who are already there, we’ll abide to advertise how actuality a baldheaded woman is fierce—and article that you accept to “own” proudly, behindhand of the abrogating and adverse address that has been put aloft us.
States that accept not already anesthetized anti-hair bigotry bills charge to admit that they accept a assignment to ensure all the barriers meant to bottle white spaces in the workplace, school, housing, and added are agape bottomward for good. Alone back Black bodies accept the abandon to be themselves, and attending like themselves, will accurate adequation be possible.
Read added at The Daily Beast.
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