For a few years now, women of African American decent have complained of being targeted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in America for unnecessary screening of their natural hair when travelling. Even Solange Knowles, who also had her hair searched by Florida TSA shared experience saying “My hair is not a storage drawer“.
But now #TeamNatural ladies can take a breather when travelling. TSA has finally agreed to retrain security officers with an emphasis on hair pat-downs for Black female travelers. They have also agreed to specifically track down complaints filed by black women at all airports they oversee to determine if discriminatory practices have occurred.
The pressure for this change first started in 2011 when a woman – Timery Shante Nance, described the “embarrassing” moment she was pulled aside after being cleared by a full body scan. She detailed how she watched Caucasian women with curly hair and bushy ponytails walk by security, while the security officer insisted on checking her hair which she had in a puff hairstyle. She eventually complained about the incident but got no response from TSA.
We aren’t sure if this retraining will do a wealth of good, but we have one question – if the scanners at airports can see under your clothes, why cant it see through your hair? Is the hair pat-down necessary in the first place or just discriminatory?
Share your thoughts Natural hair Community!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Jason Stitt