3. But not everyone at her school is a fan of her hair.
Vanessa says that when she went to school administrators to complain about being picked on because of her hair, she was told that her hair is a “distraction” and that she should change it, rather than her bullies admonished for their behavior. “They say…you should make it straight, because it’s too puffy,” Vanessa said.
The family says that they have been given one week to change Vanessa’s hair, or she will be expelled from Faith Christian Academy. BuzzFeed contacted the school for comment and was told that they likely would not release one.
5. This pressure to assimilate and adhere to western standards of beauty is why many people of color began straightening their hair in the first place.
Countless naturals have stories of being discriminated against at school, in the workplace, and even within their own families. Vanessa’s case inspired several to share their stories on Twitter with the hashtag #LivingWhileNatural.
@Karnythia Yep. My former boss once called me nappy-headed in front of about a dozen coworkers. #livingwhilenatural
#livingwhilenatural you may be the smartest, most capable, dignified woman in the room but you are never ” professional”
When family members suggest that you straighten your hair for an “important event”… #livingwhilenatural
Harassed for 2 months by Principal & teachers because of my dreads. Finally stopped when I threatened to call the ACLU. #livingwhilenatural
Look at #livingwhilenatural and understand that we all have a story because it’s common for us to be shamed for our hair.
12. UPDATE - Nov. 27, 11:35 a.m. ET: School officials say they are no longer threatening to expell Vanessa. Administrators released the following statement to WKMG:
“We’re not asking her to put products in her hair or cut her hair. We’re asking her to style her hair within the guidelines according to the school handbook.”