Erica Barton

Erica Barton is a 33-year-old mother of three, a freelance writer, and a natural hair enthusiast. As a young woman, Erica has had long, straight, pretty hair for as long as she can remember. This, she achieved through flat irons, pressing combs, and other methods that she later realized were only damaging her hair. She had to make a drastic decision – letting go of the heat. Erica did her BiG Chop in the year 2015 and has been enjoying her healthier, thicker, natural, and unadulterated hair for three years now. Erica enjoys the versatility of natural hair, and the fact that she can wear different looks on a daily basis makes her free to enjoy life and celebrate both her inner and outer beauty. She, however, warns that going natural is not a walk in the park. There are days you will feel frustrated and even wish to give up. That’s why she has taken it upon herself to help people who wish to go down this road by sharing her personal journey, challenges, and offering tips where necessary. According to Erica, every woman has a right to wear their hair on their own terms and not as dictated by society.

Female TV News Anchors Forced to Wear Wigs to Cover their Natural HairAccording to a recent study, women of color represent only 12.6 percent of local news anchors in the country. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that black female news anchors are constantly under pressure to conform to some expectations given that this is a space where black women are already a minority. Discrimination against natural hair is common in the workplace, from the mall to the military, but for public-facing newscasters, it takes on another layer of scrutiny.

Is Natural Hair ‘Unprofessional?’

When it comes to television, consistency is a big part. Black women don’t often have a choice when it comes to their hair. As a black woman reading the news on TV, you are always discouraged from wearing natural hair. In the early days of their careers, black women were told to stay away from natural hair. In journalism workshops where black female news anchors are taught how to dress, wear make-up, and style their hair for the camera, it’s the same message. Don’t wear natural hair on TV. Its seen as unprofessional in television news and not acceptable.

A Small Price to Pay

As long as it’s neat and well kept, what does your hairstyle have to do with professionalism? It’s very unfair that black female TV anchors are forced to wear wigs to cover their natural hair. Wearing black hair is seen as inconsistent. It’s like you’ll be showing up with blue hair on one day, red hair the next day, and a mohawk on another. Since consistency is a big part of television news, in most cases, black news anchors have no choice but to conform to industry standards.

Those who aspire to take up broadcast journalism as a career know this from as early as their first day at the journalism school. But their love and passion for on-air journalism is often enough to make them alter their image in pursuit of their childhood dreams. That’s understandable as jobs don’t come easy in broadcast journalism. Most black female anchors feel like they don’t have a choice. They get a chance to pursue their dreams, and for many, not having the freedom to wear their natural hair is a small price to pay. However, some famous black TV entertainers have bit the bullet by going all natural and pursuing their dreams through other avenues like lifestyle shows and reality shows, and in the process, achieving even bigger milestones.

Author: Erica Barton



Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. 

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