Black Military Women Dub New Army Hairstyle Rules as Biased

Black Military Women Dub New Army Hairstyle Rules as Biased

Some black military women are not happy with the new army regulations intended to standardize and professionalize soldiers' appearance. Those who are criticizing the new regulations have said that changes in the hair requirement are racially biased.

It all started earlier this week when the army issued new appearance standards. The regulation will impose bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows. These styles are mostly used by African-American women. But as these are their natural hairstyles they do not see anything wrong in it and are now demanding the reversal of the appearance regulation.

A White House petition has been signed by more than 11,000 people asking President Barack Obama, the commander-in-chief, to order the military to review the regulations so that they can have neat and maintained natural hairstyles.

Black military women account for about a third of the women in the armed forces. They are just not willing to fall in line with the new regulations as they have the feeling of being singled out.

"I think that it primarily targets black women, and I'm not in agreement with it I don't see how a woman wearing three braids in her hair, how that affects her ability to perform her duty in the military", said Patricia Jackson-Kelley of the National Association of Black Military Women.

Former association president Kathleen Harris said the new regulations are biased and are unfairly targeting black women. However, she added that it is understandable that the regulations do need some uniformity because military needs to be conservative and some people in the military have twists that are not small ones and do not appear apt for military personnel.

Army Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III said about the updates on the Army's website that the Army is a profession and appearance is something that allows leaders and the American public to measure their professionalism.


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