Rhonda Lee Discussing Being Fired for Natural Hair Comment

Meteorologist Rhonda Lee Discusses Being Fired and Regrets

 

Meteorologist Rhonda Lee Discusses Being Fired and Regrets. An exclusive interview with Rhonda A. Lee to discuss her natural hair drama and firing from Louisiana-based news station.

Rhonda Lee Discussing Being Fired for Natural Hair Comment

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Rhonda Lee began our interview by expressing “I transitioned for selfish reasons.”  With a birthday approaching in 2000, she was tired of the damage that her hair was experiencing.  “My hair just seemed to get shorter and shorter” said Lee as she describes an accidental transition to natural hair by gradually trimming the damaged ends. “It kind of snuck up on me”.

With short natural hair, she began to receive more attention from the opposite sex. This was an eye opening moment.  “They found me attractive in my own hair.”  She defines the hair that God gave her as freedom. “I don’t have to straighten my hair another day in my life.”  She believes that going to such great extents to change your physical appearance “can be damaging to not only your hair but inner self and character”. She stated “I have never been happier than I am with my natural hair.”
Unfortunately, Rhonda Lee was rocking the boat by sporting a teeny weeny afro on television.  She received backlash from news directors and viewers.  She was offered positions on the condition that she changed her hair.  The response was “we would like to hire you, but we have to do something about your hair”.  Although Lee was experienced and qualified for the job, something as superficial as hair became the determining factor.  “How about you wear a wig or just grow it out some” and other suggestions were made.  Lee felt these requests were unreasonable, “my counterparts were not asked to change the ethnicity of their hair”.
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17 thoughts on “Meteorologist Rhonda Lee Discusses Being Fired and Regrets

  1. Ramona Robinson (@Ramonaluvsu)

    It is unfortunate, but we do live in a very superficial society, and teh business she is in is even more so. To address the specific topic of natural hair, well, we are still learning to love it, so why woud be expect mainstream to totally embrace it, when we don’t? She is absolutely beautiful, and I hope this mess turns into something beautiful in the end.Maybe a book? Talk show? Motivational speaking?

    Reply
    1. brijhBritt

      @Ramonaluvsu: I luv U, too. 🙂 I agree. I’ve been Natural my entire life & I have never encountered this issue. Quite frankly, I feel the length of her hair was the issue, more-so than her Natural look. People react strange (All Cultures) when I wear my hair, short & curly oppose to long & curly.

      You said it best when you said: Why would we expect mainstream to totally embrace it, when we don’t?

      Reply
  2. CArnold

    Whenever you accept a job you accept the policies. While her response was eloquently written, it still broke policy. All actions have consequences. Her situation has created a forum for conversation and that’s a good thing. The discussion should go beyond hair and move into corporate policy and social media etiquette in the workplace.

    Reply
    1. Naturalhairrules Post author

      I believe with this situation there’s not just one issue that needs to be addressed. Social Media is still very new. But being advised to change your hair is not.

      Reply
  3. Banika

    I love her hair and she wears it well. I just cut mines back down to a twa and I love it and glad I did it. I really hope she can find her another job and they look at her as an educated black woman that has the skill and intelligence to do the job and not because of the hairstyle she choose to wear.

    Reply
    1. Naturalhairrules Post author

      Me too. I think we should challenge the societal norms. Should we have to be given permission to wear our natural hair due to a disease like cancer. I’m not sure if Robin Roberts received the same comments.

      Reply
  4. Bailey

    Sad situation. Ive been natural for so long and it a lifestyle for me but, people will always have there point of view and we have to learn to pick our battles, not saying that Rhonda chose the wrong battle. I applaud her for embracing her naturalness. When we as a people begin embracing our natural state society will eventually follow suite!. Good Luck to Rhonda in all her future success, because she will rise from this. Live and u Learn thats what life is all about!

    Reply
  5. Kourtne

    Its sad but a reality, especially in the industry that she is in. Appearance is everything. There was a black news reporter who was always natural but wore weaves b/c she knew and understood how the industry was and felt that something as little as hair shouldn’t keep her from her dream job. She revealed a picture of her natural hair and it was beautiful! You will not see a woman wearing a veil, afro, ,or anything that doesn’t relate to the masses its a very very superficial industry where having a mainstream appearance is a must. I think its brave for what Rhonda did even though its going to take more than just her for anything to change. hopefully people will get over the fact that our hair grows up, not down, and move on.

    Reply
  6. juny bayard

    i work in a job where people say the craziest things…I simply have to ignore it, I have people to feed and need a roof over my head, I can’t and won’t educate every ignoramus I come across…Pick your battles, but make sure they are worth it.

    Reply
  7. Debra willis

    Keep your hair do not let anyone or anything make you change you!!! I am so tried of these so call society people who think if your hair is not perm you are not looking good. Listen to me God made you that way your hair look beautiful I go througth the same pressure too with my natural hair

    Reply
  8. Shaylah

    The picture is very beautiful. I am glad you stood your grounds and let them know they were hiring you for your qualifications. I the situation was a woman of another race , not much or anything qould have been said. Keep up the great work and know you are an inspiration to Bw

    Reply
  9. Candace

    I really have to commend Rhonda for standing her ground. In some areas, natural hair just is not socially accepted. It is disheartening to think that your natural hair texture you are born with is somehow seen as inappropriate. I wish I had a Rhonda Lee as I was growing up, someone to show me that embracing my hair is not only loving yourself but being confident in yourself. I applaud her for sticking to her guns, staying true to herself and not faltering in her stance against negative feedback. With her conviction and genuine love for herself, she will definitely succeed in any future endeavors.

    Reply
  10. Lovely kinks

    AND THANKS TO MAINSTREAM AMERICA OUR BLACK SISTERS HAVE VERY LOW SELF ESTEEM WHEN IT COMES TO OUR HAIR TEXTURES THAT’S WHY OUR BLACK WOMEN CONDONE THE EUROCENTRIC LOOKS VERSUS OUR NATURAL KINKS BUT HEY THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET AMERICA BRAIN WASH YOU

    Reply
  11. Karen

    This might sound odd, but I totally agree with the television station (or other respective media corporations). Let’s face it they are all about image, and what she portrayed was not in association with their image or brand. I believe as an experienced communications personality Ms. Lee should have known this. The natural hair journey, for most of us, is really a spiritual journey. Spiritual journeys are so personal and often times very difficult for others to comprehend or to be explained.

    The solution, in my mind, is a compromise. Do what you will with the hair, but wear some type of protective style that appeals to the company’s image. From time to time test the waters or perhaps get the people involved by running some type of campaign or contest.

    I would be remiss if I did not say we have to be careful not to make the natural hair journey a black or white issue. It is about healthy hair, and how it makes you or others feel through the process is something different. It is OUR responsibility, as participants of the journey, to provide the necessary education.

    Reply

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