Six Flags And Dread(loc)ks

A few days ago, I wrote a post about an incredible deal Walmart had going on for Six Flags this summer. In return for that post, I received four tickets to Six Flags. Exciting right? Especially since we are in need of a fun family getaway.

Well…

It has come to my attention that there has been a case of Six Flags theme parks refusing to hire individuals who wear their hair in dread(loc)ks. Six Flags does not permit this “extreme” hairstyle as it detracts from Six Flags’ theme.

Here we go…

“Six Flags enforces a conservative grooming policy across all parks. The policy does not permit certain hairstyles such as variations in hair colors, dreadlocks, partially shaved heads, tails, and hairstyles that impair vision. Braided hair is allowed but must be in neat, even rows and without beads or other ornaments.”

It doesn’t matter long or short, thin, thick, clean, or dirty; just dread(loc)ks in general. Meh.

Since braids (long or short) are allowed, it isn’t a matter of the dreadlocks (long ones) being hazardous to the rides or food. If that was really the issue, why not ask that those with long hair in general to neatly pin it up and those working in food put on a hair net?

It just makes no sense.

Personally, I feel that men and women with dread(loc)ks look more mature than those with braids in their hair. And the people who I know that wear their hair this way carry themselves in a respectable manner and prove to be as intelligent and insightful as people who choose to wear their hair in other styles.

In this Essence article, it states that a lady with locs who worked at Six Flags previously with no problems, was asked to come back to work for another season…but only if she changed her appearance. So obviously, she rocked her position, but her hair was a little too much for the Six Flags image.

The types of jobs available at Six Flags are great part time jobs for teens and young adults. They are not white collar jobs where grooming standards would be a little more strict. Six Flags is a theme park; a place that promotes fun. A diverse group of people seek entertainment at Six Flags from all walks, races, and hair styles. Having employees that represent their customers totally makes sense. It’s good for business, but maybe Six Flags missed that memo.

My hair is loc’d. It is the best decision I’ve made next to leaping into wearing my hair natural and chemical free. I take pride in my hair. I wash it regularly = as needed for my hair type and physical environment. Natural hair has been growing out of my scalp for four years and boy was it a journey transitioning from stringy chemical treated hair to my natural untreated curls. And then there was the two year journey of watching my hair evolve from two strand twists to beautiful locs. What grows on top of my head shows that I did not give up. I am just as approachable as someone without locs. I don’t hug trees, get high, or walk around like a little lady militant.

Locs are just multiple strands of hair bound together to make thicker strands. These thicker strands can be styled in just about any style imaginable. What is so extreme about that?

Because of this debacle, I cannot in good conscience keep the Six Flags promo post up or visit Six Flags theme parks until they make reasonable revisions to their grooming policy. I am disappointed that a company that I stood by has been caught slipping over something as silly as a hairstyle. And yes, to many individuals, it is more than a hairstyle, it is a way of self expression and empowerment just as any hair style may be. But what’s wrong with that? And since there is a much stronger story behind this specific hairstyle, it just flusters the hell out of folks.

There’s so much more going on in the world today that we need to be worrying about rather than how we, as human beings, wear our hair.

I am sorry to those who may have gotten offended by the previous Six Flags post. I am sorry to those who commented in excitement because that deal was pretty darn good. Know that if you choose to take advantage of the savings, I absolutely WILL NOT hold it against you.

Now, to plan a new family adventure for us elsewhere. And here’s to hoping their grooming policy won’t bite me in the ass too.

#thatisall

#carryon


locs

Pin on Pinterest0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook6Share on Google+0Share on StumbleUpon0Email this to someoneDigg thisBuffer this page

Sheena Tatum

is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, wife, boy mom, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper. In the midst of motherhood, wifedom, and managing a growing collection of digital projects, she somehow manages to find zen in being a quirky, introverted, lil’ lady.

20 Comments

  • Reply August 3, 2011

    chelsea's proLocks

    Hey. You’ve made some good points and your locks look great. It’s taken a while for me to get used to my locks but I finally feel like I’m expressing my true self and not hiding behind a perm.
    Maybe together we can make positive change.
    I’ve made a petition to abolish six flag’s discriminatory hiring policies against people with dreadlocks.Sixflags.They consider it “too extreme” for a professional setting. This is untrue. They’re generalizing a hairstyle and many people are missing out on employment opportunities because of it. Lets try and stop this unfair policy. Help by signing the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/proLocks Spread the word. Thank you very much. God bless

  • Reply September 11, 2010

    Liss

    First of all, I love your locs! I’ve kept my hair loc’ed for the past 6-7 years (lost count) and natural for the past 12 years. I locked it because my hair is so thick, it’s nearly impossible to keep any other way (even chemically treated!) I try to do my hair at home whenever i can, but working fulltime often carries me to the loctitian once a month or so for grooming.

    I also think it’s outrageous that theme parks would have this view towards this hairstyle, not based on the neatness or length, but just a blanket refusal.

    Now, I have seen several white and even asian people with locs, but I really have only seen ONE of all those people wear it neatly. Maybe I’m biased due to my own reasons for locking my hair, but I believe if you can’t wear locs neatly you should do without them. I take the time to keep them neat, and I wear them with pride. I believe that people who also do so should be allowed to wear them regardless of where they work.

  • Reply June 26, 2010

    Amber

    I used to work at Great America. They had a lot of silly rules, but then again most large companies that deal with the public do. Six flags wants to cultivate a clean cut good family fun image, I know. There was one woman who would stand at the employee entrance and check everybody’s dress code occasionally. We used to call her the sock nazi because she was infamous for declaring people’s socks inappropriate and making them go purchase some company-sanctioned ones. In short, I’m not surprised about the dreads.

  • Reply June 17, 2010

    kristin

    I so respect you for standing up for what you believe in. They can’t take that away.

  • Reply June 15, 2010

    love_akihsoy

    First, let me say that I loooove your blog!

    Now onto the topic.

    I worked at Cedar Point (a large amusement park in Ohio) for two years and they had similar grooming standards. They also did not want employees to have visible tattoos, only two ear piercings (nothing else allowed), girls couldn’t wear heavy make-up, no bright nail-polish, etc. The grooming guidelines for these parks are very outdated BUT were put in place for a reason. I live in Atlanta and here, a large number of teenaged and young-adult black men have messy, unkempt dreads. It’s the style (I guess…). While I know many many people with nice looking dreads (neat, and just beautiful!) I also know a lot of people who have dreads that are unkempt. These theme parks hire THOUSANDS of people every season. How can they say “you can only have neat dreads?” That’s open to interpretation and people that do not meet the aesthetic standard that they’ve set for their employees (that is within their right to have) can easily “slip through the cracks.”

    I totally understand your frustration and agree that the grooming guidelines can sometimes be silly but realize that the majority of these theme parks have the same policies in effect, not just Six Flags.

    • Reply June 15, 2010

      Sheena

      @love_akihsoy,

      Thank you!

      I realize that Six Flags isn’t the only business doing this. Going off of what you and jennydecki said, there are just some people who are ruining it for others, giving the hairstyle a bad rep because they think messy and dirty is cool…

  • I have a 6 in Fro..do you think they would deny me employment too??? :-)

    I guess I could pack it down and make it a 3 inch fro but none the less it’s au na-tur-al.
    Thanks for the heads up, I recently did a post on them…oh well!
    Keep rockin the natural “do”

  • I am trying to successfully form words that WON’T have me standing on my soap box or taking over your comments by making my own blog post down here. I started my two year old’s dreadlocks about three weeks ago and I love them. His father has dreadlocks and his grandmother has them as well too. I’m eventually going to take the plunge and go au naturale and I can’t even begin to fathom that a company such as Six Flags would discriminate against an individual with locs. Seriously?

    Are they trying to insinuate that people with dreadlocks are uneducated, scary, offensive, etc… just because their hair is locked up. We have a few CEO’s that work at my company that have dreadlocks, that have graduated from prestigious colleges and own several degrees with dreads down their back (indicating they have been growing them for years) and they were still able to be employed in a good position.

    I am completely disgusted at Six Flags take on this, because I know more people with dreads who are very anal about their appearance. I think that people automatically associate people who wear this style with a certain “image” and they are beyond narrow minded.

    Long story short Six Flags has lost my business. (All six tickets of it. *smiles*)

    Take care,
    Shynea

  • That is ludicrous … I’m with you – I would understand (maybe) if it were some very uptight, corporate, professional environment. But Six Flags? Really? Kudos to you for demanding better from the companies that keep expanding from the consumer dollar! They should hear/care about what their customer’s concerns are because we are why they thrive. Start a ripple. :)

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    tanyetta

    SCANDAL! They better make it RIGHT! I am curious to see how they’re going to FIX this.
    .-= tanyetta´s last blog ..Fastest Baby on the planet =-.

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    jennydecki

    p.s. there were at LEAST a hundred people with ‘locks at *one* show in *one* venue in Illinois last night. I don’t think the peach-people-lock-wearing is as rare as one might think. (but again, that’s me speaking from my worldview…)

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    jennydecki

    I was at a Phish show last night and can understand why they did it. Personally, I would chalk it up to the peach people people ruining it for everyone. But since I’m peach, I have a peach-centered worldview. It’s probably totally racially motivated and I just can’t see it because of how grossed out I was last night at chicks who just LOOKED like they smelled bad because of some seriously poorly-maintained ‘locks.
    .-= jennydecki´s last blog ..I Think I Just Got Fired From the Family Business =-.

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    Jen

    wow! I don’t think we will be going to six flags after all.. This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a while. Are they going to address this issue? I would love to see what they say!

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    1stopmom

    Sheena I totally agree with you. I had no idea about that policy and was genuinely excited about the ticket deal that they had. Now I am truly disappointed in Six Flags. I like locs are beautiful and do “not” take away from a business setting at all. Looks like my family of six will be looking elsewhere for something to do this summer :(
    .-= 1stopmom´s last blog ..Party Time: Sweet Sixteen Style =-.

    • @1stopmom, I agree with you. I just started my two year old’s dreadlocks and I think he looks beautiful with them. I think locs, when taken care of, are beautiful and Six Flags just lost six more ticket sales out of me as well.

      Take care,
      Shynea

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    Sky

    It’s really too bad that Six Flags has decided to make an issue about this. Really? It’s really sad and it makes no sense.

    I completely support you. Your hair is absolutely gorgeous!
    .-= Sky´s last blog ..Maintaining Math Skills in the Summer =-.

  • Reply June 12, 2010

    Sheliza

    I heard about this and I think it stinks! I really am sorry that this put a damper on your outing but in life we all have to man up and do what’s right. You are a beautiful woman and your locs make you even more beautiful. Six Flags better get up on today’s style/fashion because I see other ethnicities besides African American trying to roc that style. I don’t think it is a racist thing, just old-fashioned ignorance. Big fat dummies!
    .-= Sheliza´s last blog ..New Good Earth gift pack giveaway =-.

  • Reply June 11, 2010

    Mommy Reporter

    Hmmm…. do you think this is because dreads or locs are predominantly worn by people of color? I think so… it’s just another cleverly disguised form of racism. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply June 11, 2010

      Sheena

      @Mommy Reporter, braids are predominantly worn by people of color… but they allow those. *sigh*

      • @Sheena, BUT you know what… white people wear our hair braided as well. So it actually goes to strengthen the argument for racism in this case because seriously how many white folks have you ever seen wear dreads? Not many, I’d think it would be safe to assume. They reject a hairstyle that specifically targets one group/type of people.

Leave a Reply

Loading Facebook Comments ...