JACKSON, TENNESSEE — Of course you’ve heard it all before. “Natural hair isn’t ‘professional’.” Well, this meteorologist had her fill of the nonsense after a racist prick phoned in a complaint about her fro.
According to Teen Vogue, on September 17, on-air weather personality Corallys Ortiz received an unruly, completely irrational, racist voicemail from one of WBBJ’s viewers.
Ortiz addressed the woman as “Donna” in her Facebook post. However, the meteorologist says the woman’s message played as follows.
“This is for the weather girl tonight. Please don’t wear your hair like that anymore. It just doesn’t look good at all. Please don’t. Change it back to something more normal.”
In the post, Ortiz uploaded photos of herself with, both, straight and natural hair.
Yet, many watching the newscast say they haven’t a problem at all with Ortiz’s hair and think it’s beautiful.
“Many of the comments talked about how they enjoy my hair, and not to let this one negative person represent West Tennessee,” the meteorologist told the source.
Accordingly, she states she never intended for the post to go viral — especially so quickly.
“There are many ways I like to define myself as a person,” Ortiz wrote via her post. “I am a woman of color. I am of Caribbean descent directly from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Multilingual. I am a college educated woman with two degrees. Most importantly, I’m someone passionate about science and arts and I’m happy I get to work in the field that I’ve loved since I was young…One thing that has always been a strong part of my identity is my hair.”
Ortiz goes on to explain that, in the television industry, especially in news and journalism, Black women are expected to abide by a “white beauty standard.”
“For years on end women of color have always been told their hair wasn’t professional or ‘neat’ enough for the work place, and for years women of color would have to adhere to ‘white beauty standards’ in order to get ahead. Slowly but surely over the years those standards have been changing in this field and we see more and more women of color being able to present themselves with their natural hair on TV.”
According to Ortiz, she hopes this situation serves as a lesson to people like” Donna,” letting them know we’re in a new century — “in [a] nation filled with people of different background, cultures, ideals, colors, shapes and sizes.”
The viral meteorologist states that, usually (around 90 percent of the time), she wears her hair straight.
However, she wants viewers to know that it’s not the first time she’s worn her hair straight, “and it won’t be the last,” Ortiz mentions.
All in all, she’s glad everything turned out for the better.
“I’m glad a negative was turned into something positive. I’ve always been a straightforward person and open about social issues, and racism is just something I strongly never condoned.”
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]