We’ve all witnessed the Columbusing of traditionally Black hair styles by celebrities and socialites without acknowledging kinky roots behind the look.
So it’s even more frustrating when Kim Kardashian can rock “boxer braids,” and look high fashion, while the regular Black girl faces potential discrimination.
Cree Ballah, a Zara employee based in Toronto, fell victim to this discrimination when she was reportedly asked to change her hair after her manager complained about her braids.
“They took me outside of the store and they said, ‘We’re not trying to offend you, but we’re going for a clean professional look with Zara and the hairstyle you have now is not the look for Zara,'” Ballah told the CBC.
The managers allegedly asked Ballah to take her hair out of the bun, and tried to fix Ballah’s hair in front of peers and customers.
“My hair type is also linked to my race, so to me, I felt like it was direct discrimination against my ethnicity in the sense of what comes along with it,” Ballah told the station. “My hair type is out of my control and I try to control it to the best of my ability, which wasn’t up to standard for Zara.”
A rep for the clothing store said that the company does not discriminate and that it “engaged directly with the employee on this matter and respect[s] the privacy of those discussions.”
Despite Zara holding tight to their position, Ballah filed an official discrimination claim with Zara’s HR.
We hope she wins the freedom to wear her hair as she wishes. They would let Kim K do it.