Discrimination can manifest itself in many ways and one young woman was shocked to discover that her hair was the reason a job offer was revoked.
That’s right — her hair.
Bournemouth University graduate Lara Odoffin revealed her experience on her Facebook page and it’s now been shared over 1,500 times by those who are astounded that such levels of discrimination take place in 2015.
“So after being accepted for a position within this company, they have TAKEN BACK the offer of a position on the grounds that if I do not take my braids out (sic),” wrote Lara.
The email from the unnamed company read: “Unfortunately we cannot accept braids — it is simply part of the uniform and grooming requirements we get from our clients. If you are unable to take them out I unfortunately won’t be able to offer you any work.”
Clearly Lara does not in any way need to justify why she wears her hair in braids but she does: “Being a black woman means that to have a long term hairstyle that stays neat is always going to be a problem. Having braids that last for 2-4 months and can be packed neatly and styled to however a workplace requires is the solution to this problem.”
A further Facebook post from Lara gave an update. “I am not currently naming the company (as much as i’d like to right now out of indignation and anger) because I do not intend to destroy someones livelihood and business, and I don’t really want a lawsuit on my hands either… (sic)” she wrote. “However it does not deter from the fact now that I have chanced upon an opportunity to correct blatant ignorance and discrimination, and it is a fact that I certainly will keep going until it is put to rest. If it does result in me having no choice but to completely expose the company, I have no problem in doing so (sic).
“This policy needs to be eradicated completely, there is no room for such rules in this day and age — across any sector,” she continued. “More than anything it just made me upset. I had the right experience, they were happy to have me… it was just about my hair. Kind of silly really. I will be speaking to a lawyer about this tomorrow and will be contacting the company.”
Earlier this year American TV host Giuliana Rancic was slammed for making offensive comments about actress Zendaya’s braids. Commenting on Zendaya’s dreadlocks on the red carpet at the Oscars Rancic said, “I feel like she smells like patchouli oil… or maybe weed.”
Zendaya responded to Rancic’s remark on social media, posting: “To say that an 18 year old young woman with locs must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive. I don’t usually feel the need to respond to negative things but certain remarks cannot go unchecked.”