Hair?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:34 pm

cinephile wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:

I'm just not one to change who I am most comfortable being to appease to a majority. If they can't accept me as I am, then that is not the firm for me.


I have never ever understood this kind of reasoning. You might have to conform to get in, but once you're in you can work to change the culture and maybe make things more welcoming for future applicants in your position. What you're doing only perpetuates the status quo.


Operative word: MIGHT.

But I truly do not see some firm refusing to provide me with a 1L/2L SA offer over some neat dreads/natural hair. Not all natural hair is as wild as some make it sound in this thread.

Should I need to adapt to get in, sure. But best believe I am snatching off that weave/wig/hair piece after being offered.

What I am saying is that I am not transforming my own hair for the sake of some firm. I'd rather sew-in/custom fit fake hair before I touch what is my natural God-given hair.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:39 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.

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Icculus
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Re: Hair?

Postby Icculus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:45 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.


And FYI, most people here have not said you can't wear natural hair, we have said you need to wear appropriate hair. Dreads were asked about, and I would guess most people would say dreads, on anyone, would be inappropriate. I personally think that the two pics you posted earlier would probably be okay, especially the first one, the second one just seems a bit casual. Howver, reading responses that basically say, I'll wear what I want and if they don't like me, so be it, is not the way to get into coroprate America.

Again, as long as it looks professional and neat and should be okay, dreads do not equal professional. That does not mean there is no way to wear your hair natural and have it be appropriate.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:46 pm

Icculus wrote: As for your current exeprience, I have no idea where you work, but the east coast and midwest are more conservative than the west coast, so that is a difference. Also, do you work directly with clients? That changes what is acceptable and not acceptable. Not to mention, when applying for legal jobs you need to cast a wide net and deal with the fact that intervieweres have expectations. You can go ahead and wear whatever you want, but know that will limit your options as to whcih firms will want to hire you.


East Coast. Worked at a VERY conservative white-shoe large law firm. We only had one black partner and most every black associate that came stayed under 2 years. Also had to meet and interface with clients directly, from the likes of Goldman Sachs MDs and VPs. I currently work with senior counsels, VPs and MDs at an investment/banking company.

Yes, I WILL go ahead and wear whatever I want and will prove many of you wrong on the opinion that it will limit my options.

I look forward to hearing from TLS black law students/attorneys on their or that of classmates/colleagues experiences on wearing natural hair.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hair?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:48 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.

Yes, I know dreads is only one form of wearing natural hair. I mentioned it because it came up here, not because I think it's the only natural hairstyle.

And my point about the woman with the long braids is that she is a really smart, accomplished, hard science IP candidate with a chemical engineering degree and experience in the aerospace industry - so not necessarily representative of the typical job candidate.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:48 pm

Icculus wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.


And FYI, most people here have not said you can't wear natural hair, we have said you need to wear appropriate hair. Dreads were asked about, and I would guess most people would say dreads, on anyone, would be inappropriate. I personally think that the two pics you posted earlier would probably be okay, especially the first one, the second one just seems a bit casual. Howver, reading responses that basically say, I'll wear what I want and if they don't like me, so be it, is not the way to get into coroprate America.

Again, as long as it looks professional and neat and should be okay, dreads do not equal professional. That does not mean there is no way to wear your hair natural and have it be appropriate.


Dreads was equated as unkempt/limiting in this thread. This I strongly disagreed with.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:52 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.

Yes, I know dreads is only one form of wearing natural hair. I mentioned it because it came up here, not because I think it's the only natural hairstyle.

And my point about the woman with the long braids is that she is a really smart, accomplished, hard science IP candidate with a chemical engineering degree and experience in the aerospace industry - so not necessarily representative of the typical job candidate.



Okay, but are you in any way suggesting she probably would not have landed her position if she did not have such experience and rocked her current hairstyle?

It sounds to me like you're saying because of X and Y experience her atypical hairstyle was overlooked. We do not know this for certain.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Hair?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:54 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Then why are you arguing with people here who say it probably doesn't jive as a lawyer? Not remotely saying you have to change your hair, but if you already know you're not going to, why ask?


..because those people are not black associates/law students. I've bumped to hear from them what have been their experiences specific to black hair and law firms. I'm not seeking the opinions of some that make up white America. I already know where most of them stand. Thanks.

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Biglaw where I went to LS is really really white. I know one AA woman with long braids, but she's also rocking IP. I have never seen an AA man or woman - or white man or woman, for that matter - pull off dreads in biglaw here. Doesn't mean it can't happen, just saying what I've observed. It's usually short hair on men and straightened hair on women. But again, AA lawyers in biglaw out here make up a really small pool.)


LONG braids, you say? But I thought Mr. Dingbat said that also limits careers?

Looks like she is the exception to Mr. Dingbat's rule. Well well well....

And FYI, DREADS is ONE form of wearing natural hair.

Yes, I know dreads is only one form of wearing natural hair. I mentioned it because it came up here, not because I think it's the only natural hairstyle.

And my point about the woman with the long braids is that she is a really smart, accomplished, hard science IP candidate with a chemical engineering degree and experience in the aerospace industry - so not necessarily representative of the typical job candidate.


Okay, but are you in any way suggesting she probably would not have landed her position if she did not have such experience and rocked her current hairstyle?

It sounds to me like you're saying because of X and Y experience her atypical hairstyle was overlooked. We do not know this for certain.

Nor do we know for certain it wasn't the case. Interviewers judge people on appearance all the time.

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dingbat
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Re: Hair?

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:02 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Dreads was equated as unkempt/limiting in this thread. This I strongly disagreed with.

Dreads may or may not be unkempt (I don't know), but it is career limiting.
If someone had a (facial) hair style, or even a general look, that was not conservative (I'll leave the definition of this open) it was not unusual for it to be a topic of conversation between our CEO and General Counsel (not of the "this is important" type of conversation, but of the "here's a curious fact" type). Let's just say that unless this was followed with something along the lines of "s/he is a rising star", it reflected badly on how our firm viewed that individual. We have, on many occasions, bypassed the people we were supposed to work with in favor of someone else, and we have resulted in people at companies we work with being reassigned to different work (and, in at least one case I'm aware of, indirectly caused the person to be fired).

Is it fair? No.
Does it suck? Yes.
Deal with it.

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Re: Hair?

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:04 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
I'm just not one to change who I am most comfortable being to appease to a majority. If they can't accept me as I am, then that is not the firm for me.


Bella, I think many of us appreciate your passion and can empathize with your feelings. That said, many of us have already BTDT and we are trying to give you honest, useful advice. If you are on the East Coast and want to work in Big Law you will almost certainly have to make some concessions w/r/t appearance, at least at the beginning. Most of my friends and I feel that the trade-offs in hiding our tattoos, cutting our hair, removing our piercings, etc. are worth it, but it is an individual decision and you are the only one who can speak for what will make you happy. In the end, I think that's what's important: do what feels true to yourself but understand that there are trade-offs. Know what you want and know what you're willing (or not willing) to give up, to get it. That's all.

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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:11 pm

nygrrrl wrote: Know what you want and know what you're willing (or not willing) to give up, to get it. That's all.



Thank you nygrrrl. I will keep that in mind.

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Re: Hair?

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:14 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
nygrrrl wrote: Know what you want and know what you're willing (or not willing) to give up, to get it. That's all.



Thank you nygrrrl. I will keep that in mind.

You're welcome. That phrase has actually helped me make many decisions over the course of my career: sometimes I've decided to play the game, sometimes to let my freak flag fly. As long as I knew what I wanted and was true to myself, it was all good.

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Re: Hair?

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:15 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
nygrrrl wrote: Know what you want and know what you're willing (or not willing) to give up, to get it. That's all.



Thank you nygrrrl. I will keep that in mind.

You're welcome. That phrase has actually helped me make many decisions over the course of my career: sometimes I've decided to play the game, sometimes to let my freak flag fly.

emphasis on the word "freak" :shock:

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Re: Hair?

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:16 pm

dingbat wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
nygrrrl wrote: Know what you want and know what you're willing (or not willing) to give up, to get it. That's all.



Thank you nygrrrl. I will keep that in mind.

You're welcome. That phrase has actually helped me make many decisions over the course of my career: sometimes I've decided to play the game, sometimes to let my freak flag fly.

emphasis on the word "freak" :shock:

LOL. Hey now. I take those boots off for interviews.

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dingbat
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Re: Hair?

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:18 pm

nygrrrl wrote:
dingbat wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:You're welcome. That phrase has actually helped me make many decisions over the course of my career: sometimes I've decided to play the game, sometimes to let my freak flag fly.

emphasis on the word "freak" :shock:

LOL. Hey now. I take those boots off for interviews.

That's when I put mine on

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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:19 pm

dingbat wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:Dreads was equated as unkempt/limiting in this thread. This I strongly disagreed with.

Dreads may or may not be unkempt (I don't know), but it is career limiting.
If someone had a (facial) hair style, or even a general look, that was not conservative (I'll leave the definition of this open) it was not unusual for it to be a topic of conversation between our CEO and General Counsel (not of the "this is important" type of conversation, but of the "here's a curious fact" type). Let's just say that unless this was followed with something along the lines of "s/he is a rising star", it reflected badly on how our firm viewed that individual. We have, on many occasions, bypassed the people we were supposed to work with in favor of someone else, and we have resulted in people at companies we work with being reassigned to different work (and, in at least one case I'm aware of, indirectly caused the person to be fired).

Is it fair? No.
Does it suck? Yes.
Deal with it.


Your experience is just that: your experience. If your firm heads wish to fire and bypass individuals on the basis of someone's hair, then that is their perogative. But to use your limited example to conclude what dreads are and are not is flawed.

And funny how you haven't a clue on what unkempt/kempt dreads look like but take it upon yourself on what was the effect of wearing such at your firm.

For educamated purposes.

UNKEMPT DREADS:

Image


KEMPT DREADS (Also known as SISTA LOCKS

Image

Image

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cinephile
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Re: Hair?

Postby cinephile » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:21 pm

Now that I see the photos, I think the ones you posted look fine.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:24 pm

cinephile wrote:Now that I see the photos, I think the ones you posted look fine.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Why's that cine?

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atcushman
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Re: Hair?

Postby atcushman » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:28 pm

When deciding on style of suits, shirts, ties etc...I have been told to model the president and politicians. I think following this model for one's grooming would probably be a safe bet. If I were AA male or female I would def. look to the first family for some guidance. As has been said itt it may not be right but people def judge you on your appearance and ability to fit the image. This is true for all races and genders.

also I was gonna post a pic of young Pres. Obama and a current to show that even he had to conform...but i think this is more appropriate

Image

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dingbat
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Re: Hair?

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:36 pm

BlaqBella wrote:Your experience is just that: your experience. If your firm heads wish to fire and bypass individuals on the basis of someone's hair, then that is their perogative. But to use your limited example to conclude what dreads are and are not is flawed.

Oh no, it was never because of someone's hair. The hair helped form an opinion. If the overall opinion was negative, then that did not bode well.
That's not just where I worked, that's universal - everything affects people's opinion of you, and if it's not positive, it's probably negative.

If you want to act the part, you've got to look the part, plain and simple. You get named by Chambers as the top lawyer in your field, you can look however you want. Having a reputation means having a reputation, but if you're a nobody, then if you don't look like a serious professional, no one will take you seriously as a professional.

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BlaqBella
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Re: Hair?

Postby BlaqBella » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:47 pm

dingbat wrote:If you want to act the part, you've got to look the part, plain and simple.



Right, and looking the part is--according to you and what you believe to be the opinion of all corporate America--NOT having dreaded hair/sister locks. We have to agree to disagree here. Thanks.

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cinephile
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Re: Hair?

Postby cinephile » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:20 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
cinephile wrote:Now that I see the photos, I think the ones you posted look fine.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Why's that cine?


I've only known white people with dreads. And that's never been good.

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Legacy Rabbit
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Re: Hair?

Postby Legacy Rabbit » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:44 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
dingbat wrote:If you want to act the part, you've got to look the part, plain and simple.



Right, and looking the part is--according to you and what you believe to be the opinion of all corporate America--NOT having dreaded hair/sister locks. We have to agree to disagree here. Thanks.


May I ask how you currently style your hair for work?

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Hair?

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:32 pm

BlaqBella wrote:
dingbat wrote:If you want to act the part, you've got to look the part, plain and simple.



Right, and looking the part is--according to you and what you believe to be the opinion of all corporate America--NOT having dreaded hair/sister locks. We have to agree to disagree here. Thanks.


Fact is many people hiring you will be, you guessed it, older white dudes. Many of them will probably have identical feelings as dingbat. Either you are OK with being judged negatively by a shit load of people like him, or you straight/cut/whatever your hair. Sounds like your mind is made up.

And paralegals and other support staff are certainly held by different standards than attorneys.

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Legacy Rabbit
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Re: Hair?

Postby Legacy Rabbit » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:04 pm

SaintsTheMetal wrote:
BlaqBella wrote:
dingbat wrote:If you want to act the part, you've got to look the part, plain and simple.



Right, and looking the part is--according to you and what you believe to be the opinion of all corporate America--NOT having dreaded hair/sister locks. We have to agree to disagree here. Thanks.


Fact is many people hiring you will be, you guessed it, older white dudes. Many of them will probably have identical feelings as dingbat. Either you are OK with being judged negatively by a shit load of people like him, or you straight/cut/whatever your hair. Sounds like your mind is made up.

And paralegals and other support staff are certainly held by different standards than attorneys.


Not just older white dudes, but older white females. You are absolutely right. Paralegals and other staff are held to a completely diff standard. I worked at a firm, I did not even see women with curly hair. All the ladies had pin straight, I just got the Brazilian blowout look.

Blaq Bella, honestly,just follow the look of the highest ranking female. What she wears and how she grooms herself is setting the standard for ALL the woman on the work floor. As you build tenure, then break ground and do your thing. But now, you are still building your image and reputation.




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