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Kim Andrews' hair issue with the Air Force

Does This Woman Look Professional to You?

When you look at this woman, what do you see? A young Air Force officer, maybe? Someone serving her country in the military? Someone who looks neat, polished, and put together? That's what I see.

But according to Treasured Locks, the military disagrees. This soldier, Kim Andrews, has been in the Air Force for seven years, but her mother says she's being threatened with a dishonorable discharge because of her hairstyle, which involves twisting her hair into cornrows, a style that's allowed in the Air Force. Dreadlocks aren't allowed, and apparently Kim's commander thinks they're dreadlocks. Here's an excerpt from the military code:

Braids, micro-braids, and cornrows are authorized. However, must be solid color similar to the individual’s hair color; conservative and not present a faddish appearance, be worn in an extreme or fad style, or violate safety requirements.

I've looked at a gallery of Kim's hairstyle, and I don't see any evidence of an "extreme or fad style." In every instance it looks natural, practical, and professional. Afrobella puts it best when she asks, "Don’t we need professionally-trained military officials now, more than ever? Why would anyone give sisters in the military grief over their hair?" Good question. What do you think?


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