In North Korea, women are legally restricted to choose from 28 government-approved hairstyles.
Black women in the U.S. Army may have less flexibility according to those who allege new “grooming regulations” are “racially biased.”
Army Regulation 670-1, released Monday, specifies what haircuts, tattoos and clothing are acceptable for the 570,000 soldiers currently enlisted.
Men probably consider changes in tattoo policy the most drastic, but it is changes to female fashion that have women’s hair in an unapproved twist.
Dreadlocks and twists have been prohibited since 2005, The Army Times reports, but the new regulation specifically bans styles popular with black women.
A soldier from Atlanta, Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, who wears her hair in two twists, has started a White House petition to get the changes thrown out.
“I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear,” she said in The Army Times. “[I am] kind of at a loss now with what to do with my hair.”
Almost 10,000 people have signed the petition. A total of 100,000 must sign for a White House response.
A male who has probably has had the same haircut since his mom quit cutting it said the new rules are “necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population.”
“Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative,” said regulation-spouting Army spokesman Paul Prince.
I’m hoping this gets sorted out quickly. This sort of confusion could give America’s enemies a decided advantage on the battlefield or at least the beauty parlor.
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