Professional Naturals Project: Leona Torres

Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.Welcome to this week’s edition of the Professional Naturals Project!  The goal of this project is to:

1. Promote the beautiful diversity of professional natural hairstyles,

2. Create an image gallery so that other naturals can get ideas of how they can wear their hair in the work place,

3. Provide encouragement for women who desire to be their naturally beautiful selves, and

4. Show the world just how professional natural hair can be!

The Professional Naturals Project will be a compilation of images and interviews that feature Black women wearing natural hair in the work place. If you would like to be featured, just take some pictures of yourself in normal work gear (looking all fly and professional!) and answer the questions listed below. Images/interviews will be selected periodically and will be featured on the Professional Naturals page!

Submit your images and answers to: info@AfroStateOfMind.com with the words “Professional Naturals Project” in the subject heading. I’m really excited about this because it isway past time that we be able to come out of the natural hair closet! We are here, we are brilliant and our hair is fly! If you agree, please send me (a variety of ) your pics and your answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What industry do you work in?
  3. How long have you worn natural hair in the work place?
  4. What is your best “Natural Hair in the Workplace” story?
  5. What was your most challenging “Natural Hair in the Workplace” moment and how did you handle it?
  6. What advice would you give other Black women who wear natural hair at work?

Many thanks to Leona Torres, this week’s feature in the Professional Naturals Project!

Professional Naturals Project: Leona Torres

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1.       What is your name?

Leona Torres

2.       What industry do you work in?

I work in the banking industry.  I am a paralegal specializing in Commercial Litigation.

3.       How long have you worn natural hair in the work place?

I have been wearing my natural hair at work since early 2011.

4.       What is your best “Natural Hair in the Workplace” story? 

It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I am not alone.  There is a professional sister in a very respected management position at the company where I am employed who is also natural, we complement each other on the various styles that we wear from time to time and I know that it is genuine.  I believe that while I would be just as confident if I were the only “natural sister” in my workplace . . . there is a greater since of cultural pride knowing that there is someone else that has embraced the beautiful that God has made them.

5.       What is your most challenging “Natural Hair in the workplace story?

I have very thick natural hair and when I blow it out . . . it is huge.  That being said, I often felt the need to pull my hair back into a bun or something more subdued when there was a major meeting or some other professional event where there would be large numbers of “higher ups”.  When I did this I often wondered if the “subduing” of my lovely chaotic crown was an act of professionalism or one of a more base nature, shame.  The fact that I had to ponder this was even more disconcerting than the act itself . . . so I decided to just go with whatever style I felt was professional and appropriate for the event at hand . . . just as my Caucasian co-workers would not show up wearing spiked hair to a major meeting . . . I decided that I would not be selling out by taming my lovely locks into a simple bun (natural of course) or some other more tame style.

6.       What advice would you give other Black women who wear natural hair at work?

To yourself be true.  Confidence shines from the inside out . . . When you know who you are and where you are headed there is no level of negativity that can hold you back (except that of your own).  Also, wearing natural hair is not license to wear your hair any way you feel within the workplace.  There is a time and place for everything.  Just as we dress and act a certain way when we are not at work . . . our hairstyles should be professional when the situation calls for it, and there are many natural professional styles to choose from – so have fun with it!

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Thanks for Joining the Professional Naturals Project Leona!

Thank you Leona for sharing your story and I love this piece of advice “To yourself be true.” This can be one of the most challenging parts of being natural but I believe it is key to finding happiness while on this journey. Oh – and your fro-hawk is fierce!
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Ladies if you are a Professional Natural who proudly wears natural hairstyles at work, take a moment to share your story and your beautiful pics! Submit your images and answers to: info@AfroStateOfMind.com with the words “Professional Naturals Project” in the subject heading. Answer the six questions below to complete your submission. Looking forward to hearing from you!
  1. What is your name?
  2. What industry do you work in?
  3. How long have you worn natural hair in the work place?
  4. What is your best “Natural Hair in the Workplace” story?
  5. What was your most challenging “Natural Hair in the Workplace” moment and how did you handle it?
  6. What advice would you give other Black women who wear natural hair at work?

And if you’re looking for more thoughts from an Afro State of Mind, check out my book “Afro State of Mind: Memories of a Nappy Headed Black Girl now available on Amazon.com in paper back or e-book! And if you want to stay connected follow me on Twitter, “like” Afro State of Mind on Facebook or catch up on my latest youtube videos!

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