Army Hairstyle Ban Racially Biased?
Recent changes to Army regulation 670-1 female grooming standards have cause quite a stir. Basically the army hairstyle ban targets styling options that are predominantly worn by women of colour with natural hair. Many feel that the rules are racially biased and upon analysis it is not hard to envision why they feel that way. Within the 57 page training manual of sorts it states that “Twists – defined as twisting two distinct strands of hair around one another to create a twisted rope-like appearance” are prohibited! It further states that braids/cornrows “Must be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approximately 1/4”), show no more than 1/8”of scalp between the braids.” Many of these restrictions target women of colour and really do not leave them many options on how to style their hair.
This is a stark demonstration of the ignorance that still exists around natural hair. Can we smell a disconnect between what is realistic for natural haired military personnel and what the army dictates? In 2014 it is disturbing that army hairstyle bans like this can still be relevant.
The regulation took effect on March 31. To read more of the new regulations you can access the Training PDF.
One of the affected soldiers (Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs) started a petition requesting the White House reconsider the changes to AR 670-1. You have until April 19 to sign the petition.