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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Boycotting Six Flags

For the first time ever I have rescinded a blog post. Yesterday I wrote about the summer fun activity of going to a theme park with family and noted a deal available from Walmart to purchase discounted tickets for Six Flags. In the comments, my friend Brooke of Jewelry Rockstar wrote that she is boycotting Six Flags and linked to this article in Essence magazine. Apparently, two women in Maryland were denied employment with Six Flags because their hair is loc'd. If you are not familiar with locs, just check out my hair.



Locs. Although many people have mistaken my hair for braids, my hair is actually "locked" and I cannot simply unbraid my hair. If I want to change the style completely I will have to cut it all off. I have been wearing my hair like this for over ten years and in my personal experience have never been discriminated against because of my choice of hairstyle. In my last full time position I was the head of a top governmental agency, represented Georgia on the federal level and was never questioned about my ability to do my job as a result of my hair style. However, despite my Masters Degree, work experience internationally and domestically, if for some reason I wanted to work at Six Flags, I would be unable to do so because of my hair.

I cannot support an company that has implemented this type of discriminatory policy that will overwhelmingly apply to people that not only wear their hair like I do but are also African American.There are numerous teenagers that wear their hair like I do and a summer position at Six Flags would be perfect. Except, it is not. According to Six Flags

"Six Flags enforces a conservative grooming policy across all parks. The policy does not permit certain hairstyles such as variations in hair colors, dreadlocks, partially shaved heads, tails, and hairstyles that impair vision. Braided hair is allowed but must be in neat, even rows and without beads or other ornaments."

I find the use of the word "dreadlocks" offensive too but that is commentary for another blog post. Ultimately, until policies like this one are challenged these types ofpractices will continue. I sincerely apologize for posting about Six Flags yesterday, I will not be visiting their parks and I encourage you to do the same.

29 comments:

The Broke Socialite said...

*side eye*, Six Flags. Y'all need to do better.

LittleTechGirl said...

WOW!!! This is pretty unbelievable!!

RobynsOnlineWorld said...

That is crazy! Your hair is adorable, why on earth would Six Flags discriminate against that? Frankly the rest of their hair statement confuses me a bit also. I don't care what style anyone's hair is in as long as they present themselves in a neat appearance at work it should all be ok I think.

Angela said...

UGH! I wish I had known this before getting our tickets online for next Wednesday in Atlanta. Don't kill me, they will be boycotted afterwards. I will keep my eyes peeled for some locks on their employees head. I could have sworn I have seen some there before, just pulled back out of the face.

Janine (@twincident) said...

So, I don't have locs, but I do have 'variations in hair color' due to the grey streaks at my temples...I guess they condone age discrimination too.

Bay said...

This is shocking! I was not familiar with the term locs, but I've seen your hair and it looks great. :)
I can't believe that Six Flags would discriminate so openly like this. I won't be visiting Great Adventure now that you brought this to my attention.
-Bay

Jewelry Rockstar said...

@ Angela, funny thing is... Six flags has allowed persons with locs to work there in previous years. However, for SOME STRANGE reason they have changed their policy THIS YEAR. As a matter of fact the two women who were denied employment have worked there previous years.

ErinJeany said...

We already don't go to six flags in MD because of the crime, that just gives us another reason.

That is totally wrong. They should have a case by case basis on that policy if nothing else. If a woman like you walked in seeking employment would they discredit you due to your hair or be happy to have you due to your background? If you have a neat, clean appearance, then I don't think it should matter what your hair style is called. I had locs when I was in college. They were small and tight and often mistaken for braids, I used shampoo made for them and they looked clean and when they started getting loose looking I cut them out. Would they discriminate towards me for that?

Makes you wonder...

Jennifer said...

"variations in hair colors" = highlights? Guess that means I'm unemployable as well. That just seems really silly. What difference does it make what people's hair looks like? I would think a lot of their employees are teenagers and have really varied hairstyles.

Momstart said...

I can not believe that Six Flags is so far behind the times with their dress code policy.

jerseygirl89 said...

Wow, who knew that Six Flags would go all historical theme park and bring back discrimination?

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

My word! I had no idea blatant discrimination like that still went on! Thank you for making us aware..this family will be boycotting Six Flags as well!

Sheliza said...

Oh no! I am so shocked by that! Well, I would too boycott the joint as well. I am really sorry to hear about this foolishness.

Andrea @ MommySnacks.net said...

That is ridiculous!! Seriously, I have no other words...

YUMMama said...

I'm not shocked. Places like McDonald's have appearance codes, but most are owned by minorities now and they don't really enforce them from what I've seen. However, I do know the owner of the McDonald's in my town and his female workers can't have nails unless they're a certain length, they can't have outrageous nail colors and no funky hairdos unless it's prom.

I guess if you're running a business and you want to that business to have a certain image, your workers have to embrace the image you're trying to represent. I'm not saying that excuses or makes it right. I'm just saying that this is not an uncommon practice or policy with well known brands. Some companies enforce it and some don't.

Deb said...

I seem to be saying this a lot lately; WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

Neat and clean hairstyles should be the rule. I work in the medical field and have to have "natural color" hair. But right now it's streaked auburn and blonde. I can't have blue, purple, or turquoise... But most people want their medical professionals to look professional. We have plenty of women with locs and they look clean, professional, well kept. Natural locs are nice too as long as they are kept clean. I have seen some that just made me cringe though. I think 6 flags needs to re-vamp their dress code policy.

Execumama said...

That's a bit surprising considering we're in one of the "Loc Capitals" here in Atlanta. I remember getting the "Girl, how you gonna get a job" looks back in 1997 when I first loc'd my hair, and the sighs of relief when I cut them off in 2005. Today, I also get the "nice braids!" comments and I too find the term "dreadlocks" offensive. Thanks for the information on this. I guess me and my two loc-wearing daughters will NOT be adding Six Flags to our summer tour route after all.

The Jaded NYer said...

Aww man, really? Damn. Now I gotta boycott Six Flags! I can only hope Coney Island has no such policy... I can't live without rollercoasters in my life!

Marinka said...

Good for you. I admire you so much for this. Fortunately I've been pre-boycotting Six Flags for most of my life since amusement park rides terrify me.

Lindsey Whitney said...

Okay, I'm with you in the sense that this policy does seem to aim itself at minorities. However, I do see how the company would want their employees to look neat and approachable. Some locs look great (like yours). My friend has her hair locked for 5 years now, and it looks very neat. However, I have seen some locs (on white people and black alike) that do look a bit dreadful. They are not twisted regularly and they look like dead tails hanging all over their head. Frankly, I wouldn't want that at my park either. It's hard to make a policy that says "only neat locs allowed" because that's so subjective. I hear your objection, but there should be some room for keeping an image too

Brown English Muffin said...

"must be in neat, even rows and without beads or other ornaments."
you HAVE to be kidding me!!!!

Single With a Desire said...

Wow at this post. They allow braids but not locs? *scratches head * This comment could turn into a post but I'll refrain lol. Really though, to say the least that policy is ridiculous. Thank you for sharing.

Amy from Resourceful Mommy said...

I'm with them on a grooming policy, but some very senile old - yes I'll say it - white man must have written the wording. What are they picturing when they write that? The hippy boys that used to sit in the quad at my college, smoke weed, and bathe once or twice a semester? Or are they targeting a specific ethnic group with their policy?

One summer I worked for a very large and popular company in childcare at their resort and was told that they could no longer schedule me for hours because my nose piercing (that most people don't even notice) posed a safety and security hazard. In other words? Not the look they were going for in their ultra-high class establishment, even though the judges, attorneys, and astronauts whose children I cared for in DC during the school year seemed perfectly okay with me.

When will corporations finally no longer be allowed to discriminate based on appearance?

Six Flags? You're not getting my money.

Kathleen said...

What??!!! That is crazy! I think locs are gorgeous and I cannot see the point in boycotting that style.

Jen said...

This is sad but also funny who the hell do they think they are? It's not like they are paying anybody big bucks to work there and i mean it's outside!! I really want them to address this issue this is BS *excuse my language* As long as your clean and look presentable why should it matter your hair style. I see if they had the bright colored weaves and stuff yea but dreadlocks! give me a break

Christine said...

While I totally understand your point of view, here's mine. when I think of Locs, I don't think of beautifully styled hair like yours or Latricia's. I think of my friends hair (a white boy, btw) who would come to work with his very long locs with grass and other trash stuck in them from where ever he slept. His clothes were torn and dirty, his hair a mess, he was a drugie and a boozer... but a really great guy at the same time. LOL! Lucky for him he worked in the entertainment industry and no one cared what he looked like.. but there's no way in hell I would ever hire him.

I had a conversation about this with my teen ager just the other day. He likes wearing black nail polish and black clothes, and would love it if I let him leave the house with tons of black eye liner all over his face. What I told him was that despite who you are, how you represent yourself to the world is how people will see you. If you look like a punk, you're going to be treated like one. It's not always fair, but it's reality.

The majority of people who see locs will think of people like my friend I mentioned earlier. They will see them as scary, unreliable, drugies, and won't want their children around them, despite how they might actually be a good person and none of those things. You can't make a second first impression. The park is trying to keep their "first impressions" good. While that may not be fair, it's still reality.

Anonymous said...

I took my family to six flags today to celebrate my sons 10th birthday. We were escorted out the front gates after spending nearly $600 because his father is a smoker. And smoking is not allowed at six flags. When approached by security who told us unknowingly that he could not smoke, he apologized and immediately put the cigarette out, without argument. We were then told that we had to leave. It was their policy. BOYCOTT 6 FLAGS.....my family and friends will not return. I hope you help me hit'em where it hurts, their wallet. To make a child cry on their birthday is their policy. I want no part of a company like that!

tallgirraffelady said...

I guess our big bad black scary intimidating/threatening dreadlocs are scaring the little white children. waaaaaaaa! basically they want to "whiten" us for fear of us getting "too confident". i wish i had known this before i wasted $60 on a season pass last year. i am going to tell everyone i know

Anonymous said...

I appreciate this post and ask for a piece of education. I had no idea the phrase dreadlocs was offensive, I seriously thought that is what they were called. Is this because they refer to the "ratty" kind some people were mentioning? I wouldn't want to offend someone, I didn't even know that was a negative term.

Clearly your hair is neat and you have a smile that lights up the room! While six flags has the right to set whatever standards they want to for their employees they should take a step back and reconsider this requirement.

Thanks for the great blog!

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