Do you watch wrestling? My family is obsessed with everything WWE so when former Smackdown champ Naomi said at one point the WWE did not approve her natural hair it most definitely caught my attention.
After a bit of a hiatus from television, Naomi returned to the WWE Royal Rumble with her natural hair, and according to Fightful that was a decision she did not take lightly.
During her appearance on the podcast New Day: Feel The Power, she expanded on the history of her natural hair with the WWE.
It was a conscious decision,” Naomi said on New Day: Feel The Power. “That’s something I’ve always been proud of and have always been aware of, to represent women like me, our culture, and our people.
Not just being a feminist or being a woman, but also because I am black and I look the way I look and talk the way I talk, there are people who connect with me differently and identify with me because of those things.
I remember when I first came in and I wanted to wear my natural hair and they were like, ‘We want you to look this way.’
I showed them an old picture and I had long straight hair, and that’s the look they were wanting me to go with.
I was like, ‘That’s fine, to get in the door and to get where I need to go, I’ll look the part and be the part, but once I make it, I’m going to be me.’
I finally feel like I got to that point of, ‘I don’t care, like it or don’t like it, I’m rocking my hair like this.’
With everything going on, that’s something I wanted to do, not just for myself, but for the culture, to show we’re beautiful. It was something that needed to be seen and done, a lot was said without being said.”
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Fans have been clamoring to see more Naomi on SmackDown, even starting a #NaomiDeservesBetter hashtag following the July 17 WWE SmackDown after Naomi lost to Lacey.
When discussing the fan support, Naomi said, “I’m really grateful for the career I’ve had and the moments. The beautiful thing about this job is you can never stop growing.
If you really love it and are into it, you will always want more and want to elevate and continue to get better.
That’s where I’m at now. I feel like there is more to show and more to prove and more to do. That lets me know that I’m not done yet and I still love it and I’m still here.”
The discussion about black women and their natural hair in the workplace is one that we have been discussing all month. Naomi’s story is just another example of how unconscious bias is perpetuated.
We have to change the way we look in order to progress in the traditional corporate workspace and in entertainment.
We are told:
“We want you to look this way.”
“Your natural hair Isn’t professional”
“That “style” might not be right for this event”
“We aren’t saying your hair isn’t beautiful we are just saying audience appeal might be better if you wear it this way”.
“Maybe wear the weave this one time just to see…”
The excuses are endless, we literally have to earn the right to do what others take for granted.
We wish Naomi continued success in her career and it’s great she can be herself on stage and where her natural hair when she chooses to.
Let em see you sis!
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