When meteorologist Corallys Ortiz, went live rocking her natural hair, she didn’t expect to receive backlash for doing so.
The TV reporter at WBBJ 7 in Jackson, TN, only wished to allow her tresses to rest and deviated from her usual sleek and straight hairstyle. “I’ve been giving my hair a bit of a break from this heat and humidity and not having to straighten it so often. This is only my second round wearing it the 10 months I’ve been in Tennessee,” Ortiz wrote in a Facebook post.
The Afro-Latina initially received positive feedback from viewers who admired her natural look. But on Sunday night, one ignorant viewer decided to call the station and leave a voicemail to let her know just how much she didn’t appreciate her natural hair on live television.
The Massachusetts native took to Twitter to share the voicemail of the hair hater. In the video, you can hear the woman tell her to change her hair back to "something more normal."
“To the weather girl tonight, please don’t wear your hair like that anymore. It just doesn’t look good at all. Change it back to something more normal. Not something that’s all– n*ggery lookin’.”
Hear the message for yourself below:
Ortiz stated on her Facebook, “A viewer who goes by Donna felt that my hair wasn’t up to ‘her standards.’ The following video just reflects back to everything I just said about criticism and dealing with what is considered ‘cultural or racial ignorance.’ Racism for short. It is very clear you can hear what she says and it’s something I don’t condone.”
What exactly is considered normal? And by whose standard of normal?
Ortiz, being of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, her ‘poof’ may very well be normal.
Of course, a white woman filled with ignorance wouldn’t understand that. It’s not easy being a woman of color on live television because of hair prejudice.
Journalists like Tamron Hall, Jazmin Bailey, and Demetria Obilor are definitely helping to pave the way to normalize natural hair at every level of broadcasting.
Ortiz was obviously appalled by the statement.
“I hope it serves as a lesson to people like Donna and to remind her that we are living in a new century, in a nation filled with people of different backgrounds, cultures, ideas, colors, shapes, and sizes,” Ortiz wrote.
Since the posting, the reporter has received an overwhelming amount of support from her fans and new viewers.
Keep making a difference, sister! We support ya!
(Photo: WBBJ Channel 7 News)
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