Can you be taken seriously with curly hair? Is straight hair more professional?
A tweet piqued my interest today about whether curls can be taken seriously. I grabbed my copy of this month’s Vogue Australia to re-read Rebecca Huntley’s article, “Curl curse”.
Huntley discusses a theory that women with a certain hairstyle have little hope of succeeding in serious professions such as law, politics and business. She searches for examples and only comes up with women with serious straight hairstyles.
I tried to think of examples to prove curls can be CEOs but couldn’t think of any either.
This anti-curl stereotype does exist. I can’t speak for why others do it, but I can explain why I used to conform to this straight hair image.
During my time in the corporate world I wanted to fit in, and look in control. Straight hair looks organised. Straight hair looks serious. I just didn’t believe in my skills enough.
“To be taken seriously, you need serious hair.”
In the 1988 movie classic “Working Girl” Melanie Griffith’s character Tess utters this quote about how to get ahead in business.
Tess believed in her herself, but her hair was a little distracting. As long as your hair isn’t obscuring your peripheral vision or those around you, you can still be yourself and succeed.
Traditional notions of beauty will always exist, and so will stereotypes, but you don’t need to conform. I love people who break the rules and play with these beliefs. Take Dolly Parton, she distracts you with her big hair and boobs so you don’t notice her business brain. Grace Coddington is another successful hair icon for those who can’t tame their mane.
It’s taken me a long time, but I love my curls. Like Huntley, I wear them with pride and I don’t feel any less “professional” than with straight hair.
There isn’t only one way to success and you shouldn’t feel pressured to look a certain way to achieve your goals.
So do you still think you need a serious haircut to be taken seriously? Do you know of any curly-haired women in boardrooms?