The US Navy has announced its decision to allow servicewomen to wear their hair in something other than buns. We’re talking ponytails and “wider buns” as well as “lock hairstyles” and “ropelike strands.”
Here’s the part that gets me. The reason for these changes? Inclusivity.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said it makes the Navy more inclusive.
Many black women had asked for changes to the female grooming standards. A female sailor, Yeoman First Class LaToya Jones, announced the new policy during a Facebook Live event Tuesday with Richardson. The new standards went into effect Wednesday.
I guess I would just say that the military isn’t a place for expression of personal style. If these styles WORK better– fitting under the uniform or what have you, then cool. But listing “inclusivity” as the prime reason for the change? That rubs me the wrong way.
Capt. Thurraya Kent is the senior member of the working group that recommended the changes. The group told the Navy that adding grooming options would eliminate a distraction, be more inclusive of different hair textures and enable people to keep their hair natural instead of processing it chemically.
Kent, who has been in the Navy for nearly 26 years, said her hair has been an issue throughout her career, whether it’s figuring out what to do with it while she’s deployed or trying to quickly make sure it conforms to regulations after exercising.
She recalled being told to take out her braids early in her career even though her hairstyle was allowed.
“Because of the texture of my hair, it stood straight up,” Kent said. “It was a very embarrassing moment that stays with you.”
She said she’s very encouraged that Navy leaders both listened and understood.
Again– I don’t have a problem with the change itself. I have a problem with the attitude behind it. “Inclusivity.” My SJW sensor is buzzing in the background.
“I think it’s a step forward,” Lt. Cmdr. Jess Cameron said, according to Fox News. “They’re getting more female feedback in the service, and updating what I think are somewhat antiquated guidelines that maybe no longer serve their purpose in today’s society, today’s military.”
The Navy said it had the standards in place because of safety concerns and to ensure everyone maintained a uniform, professional look. Though the new rules permit ponytails, there will be some exceptions when working around heavy machinery.
The reactions have been mixed.
My mom served in the US Women's Army Corps. Hair had to be off the collar…cut short, or tucked inside. It worked then, it should work now.
— Karyn Plunk (@KarynPlunk1) July 12, 2018
Is that a good idea? Imagine long hair getting caught in something and the sailor getting stuck… during an emergency that could perhaps mean death.
— JEL (@JEL248) July 12, 2018
If it's really about increasing "inclusivity" why aren't they allowing men to wear ponytails too? Or worse, manbuns?
— Dr. Mikhail Kushnir #Independent #FreeThinker (@MAKroscopic) July 12, 2018
NAVY MAN BUNS NOOOOOOOO.
It’s 2018 and they are just now letting women decide how to wear their hair. They are smart enough to figure out which style will be safe under which circumstances.
— Sarah (@Sarahacha) July 12, 2018
nice. the navy is always leading new grooming standards for the armed forces. good for them!
— erin kelly (@eeeerrrriiiinnn) July 12, 2018
..and the men? Can they wear ponytail and dreads?
— Maggie Lee (@MyradL6) July 12, 2018
How thoughtful pic.twitter.com/c1hLcMj72r
— Jan-Jan The FotoMan (@Spontos) July 12, 2018
Sailing into the future, one hair style at a time.
— Herasmus B. Jiggy (@HerasmusB) July 12, 2018
h/t Fox News