Two women talking together.

@missesha973/TikTOk

‘It’s a backhanded compliment’: Woman tells Black girl that braids make her look ‘old’

'She could’ve said her hair looks pretty and left it at that.'

 

Jillian Price

IRL

Published Jul 23, 2021   Updated Jul 26, 2021, 12:02 pm CDT

Moments before a viral TikTok video was taken, a white woman allegedly told a Black girl that she looked educated because her hair was straight. The woman allegedly followed this statement by saying that braids, however, make her look “old and bad.”

In the video, posted on Thursday, the mother of the girl in the video is speaking with the alleged district manager of a store, who the mom thinks is defending the white woman. 

At the beginning of the video, the mother tells the white woman, “You said it.” The white woman responds, “No I didn’t, ma’am.” 

The district manager joins, telling the mother, “Well you weren’t here, so you don’t know.” The manager continues, “If someone said to me that I looked educated, I would take it as a compliment.”  

@missesha973

White older lady told the young lady, she looks educated with her hair straight and with braids she looked, old and bad

♬ original sound – user1092955490770

The mother responds to the manager, frustrated that her daughter is not being defended. The mother tells the manager that the woman’s comment was wrong and that he doesn’t see a problem with the white woman’s comment because he is also white. 

“You’re white. You’re not going to get offended by that,” the mother said. 

The manager concludes that the white woman said if she said something offensive, she would have apologized.

Many in the comments on the video, which by Friday had more than 34,000 views, expressed their thoughts about the incident. User @livelife840 said, “She shouldn’t have said anything to her PERIOD!!!”

“It’s a backhanded compliment,” user @dionta1995 wrote. “She could’ve said her hair looks pretty and left it at that.” 

Hair discrimination against Black Americans is a major problem. Many Black Americans have shared their experiences with not feeling comfortable wearing natural hairstyles, as people have called them unprofessional and distracting. This prompted lawmakers to make the CROWN Act, which forbids hair discrimination in workplaces and school. The CROWN Act has been passed in 13 states. 


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*First Published: Jul 23, 2021, 4:43 pm CDT