Most of us have dealt with annoying dress codes at one time or another — but here’s a new one that’ll make you see red. Twenty-year-old Akua Agyemfra, a waitress at the Canadian chain Jack Astor's Bar and Grill, was sent home from work for (wait for it) wearing her hair in a bun.
The restaurant requires female employees to wear their hair down at all times for reasons that remain unclear. (I’ll go out on a limb and guess that these “reasons” are related to sexism and racism.) After taking out her hair extensions, Agyemfra put her natural hair in a bun for a totally practical reason. As she explained to CBC News, "a lot of Caucasian people don't really understand" that her hair just doesn’t “stay down” without extensions.
Agyemfra explained this straightforward concept to her manager, but she was still forced to leave work — even after showing her boss exactly why wearing her hair down wasn’t the best option.
"I take pride in my natural hair. I took it out for [my manager] in the office so she can see that it doesn't really go down,” Agyemfra said. “She understood that, from my understanding."
She was sent home anyway, and Agyemfra says the incident lead to “embarrassing” conversations with co-workers when she was forced to explain her abrupt departure from her workplace.
By the company’s rules, Agyemfra can keep her natural, preferred hair texture — but she won’t be permitted to style it in a practical manner. Or, she can go back to wearing extensions despite the fact that she’d prefer to embrace her natural locks.
In response to the incident, a spokeswoman with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) was forced to state the obvious when she told CBC that dress codes “should not rely on stereotypes or sexist ideas of how men or women should look."
Is the year 2017? Just checking.