'Finally feeling true to myself': TV reporter goes viral for rocking her natural hair on air for the first time
The Lansing, Mich. reporter recently shared a photo on Twitter, sharing her experience with wearing her hair natural on TV for the first time ever. The seemingly simple act took a lot of courage from the 21-year-old, who admits she straightens her hair daily.
“I wore my natural hair on tv for the first time ever today! This has been an internal battle that I’ve been struggling with ever since I decided to become a reporter. Finally feeling true to myself #blackgirlmagic,” wrote Whyte on Twitter.
Whyte told Teen Vogue that she’s been considering wearing her natural hair for a long time — especially after noticing the toll daily heat styling was taking on her locks.
“I started as a full-time reporter in May , and I would straighten my hair literally every day,” said Whyte. “It was super damaging and my hair was starting to fall out, so I knew I had to make a change.”
But that wasn’t the main reason she wanted to ditch the straightener. She said straightening her hair daily made her feel like she was “trying to conform to a certain image that society wanted me to be.”
Whyte is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists — and it was at a convention where she felt the final push she needed to go on air with natural hair.
“I think natural hair in journalism is becoming more common, but it still has a long way to go in terms of acceptance. Representation is so important. Little girls sitting at home watching the news need to be able to see someone who looks like them on television, so they know it’s possible for that to be them one day,” she said.
Needless to say, Twitter had a lot of love for the young newscaster.
A fellow reporter also commended Whyte for her bravery, and shared a similar photo of herself rocking her natural hair.
A 2016 study in the United States found that black women feel more self-conscious about their hair than white females. There was also a feeling of added pressure among black women to straighten their hair for work. The same report revealed that “a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their hair.”
As for Whyte, wearing her hair natural has made her feel more like herself — and she hopes it inspires other women of color to follow suit.
“Now, I feel like I’m not hiding behind a mask and can fully be myself. I hope this helps others know that they can do the same,” she said.
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