It seems there is a brand new ban on hair coming down from the U.S. Army. African-American ladies (or any other personnel) wearing their hair in dreadlocks, braids or cornrows in a twist are being singled out. The Army’s regulations now stipulate hair “must be of uniform dimension, small in diameter (approximately ¼ inch), show no more than 1/8 (inch) of the scalp between the braids.” Any braids ‘free hanging’ are banned and cornrows are wholly not authorized now.
There are two sides to what’s happening here (as there are two sides to every story); one declaring a decidedly racial prejudice the other simply declaring the new Army policy is simply a new policy influenced by regulation. As we march closer and closer to more open door policies on sexuality in the armed forces, well past the question of race and how it fits into a modern day Navy, Airforce, Marines and Army, there seems there are still hurtles to overcome and questions to be asked.
ABC News reports that over 11,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Obama to prompt the military review of the new policy which also bans several ‘usually’ male cuts and styles, like Mohawks and long sideburns. Earrings were the only piercings currently allow. To keep one’s hair particularly styled in such a regulated and hurried environment could be quite the trail to begin with. But expression of individuality through any expression-hair style, unauthorized addition to one’s uniform, certainly behavior unbecoming an officer-has always been regulated by stringent military policy.
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