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Calgary teen petitions province to replace highschool cosmetology programs to incorporate extra variety

The issue is summed up by a white model head.

It’s the one Chloe Streit makes use of in her Calgary classroom.

The Grade 11 pupil says highschool cosmetology college students usually are not taught work with Black hair — apart from enjoyable therapies — and are solely supplied with white mannequins to practise on.

Kayla McLean discusses the Black hair journey with host Farah Nasser

She is petitioning the province to replace its curriculum to be extra inclusive. It had greater than 3,600 signatures as of Tuesday evening.

“If a Black client walked in and said, ‘I want to get my hair braided in cornrows,’ we’d have to tell them, ‘Sorry, you’ll have to find that somewhere else,’” Streit mentioned. “That in itself is oppression.”

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It’s an issue Badria Abubaker is aware of all too effectively.

She labored on the identical white model when she was in highschool earlier than deciding to drop the category.

“After Grade 10, I was like, ‘I can’t go back,’” Abubaker mentioned.

“It’s discouraging. You don’t want to go back where you can’t see yourself. I can’t implement this in my life because it’s not made for me.”

As a substitute, Abubaker went on to make a documentary exploring the politics of Black hair and the connection girls have with their hair.

“The culture I grew up in, you call someone, you go into her basement, like your auntie, to get your hair done,” Abubaker added.

“You can’t just walk into the hair salon and be like, ‘Oh, can I get my hair cut?’ ‘No, no, we don’t do your hair.’”

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She desires to see extra instructors of color in cosmetology school rooms and have college students study extra in regards to the historic context of merchandise like relaxers.

“It was made to assimilate. The less Black you look, the more you’re closer to European,” Abubaker defined.

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“So you straighten your hair and its associated with a higher status. You can see that today in the workforce. If you want to be taken seriously, you’re not going to wear your natural hair, you’re going to tuck it away, you’re going to slip it back because it’s not considered kempt.”

In Julietta Raoul’s northeast Calgary salon, there’s one other white model with straight auburn hair and inexperienced eyes.

Raoul helps the petition, saying there’s a rising demand for stylists who can do pure hair.

“One of the overwhelming things is knowing that there are so hairstylist interns who cannot do every texture of hair,” Raoul mentioned.

“Because there is now a growing demand for clients having natural hair, it makes it a lot more difficult to be able to find a salon and only knowing how to do straight hair limits the stylist.”

Learn extra:
An 8-hour drive for braids: Why Black haircare is difficult in small-town Canada

Raoul has been doing hair professionally since 2000, and whereas she is totally licensed in Alberta, she mentioned her greatest training got here from learning in Atlanta, Ga.

“I was able to practise on hair that is of all different textures and actually be able to get a feel and know what are some of the differences are,” Raoul added. “The greatest variety of texture is in Afro hair. For example, my client right now has three textures in her hair.”

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In an announcement to International Information, the Calgary Board of Training mentioned it’s conscious of the petition and is exploring incorporate the ideas into future cosmetology programs.

“As a learning organization, we have a responsibility to support our students, staff and families as we learn to confront racism and disrupt old patterns of thought and behaviour in our schools and workplaces,” the assertion learn.

“We know we have work to do to better understand how we can make our courses more inclusive and respectful of our students and their experiences.”

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The province wouldn’t remark instantly on the petition or the supply of mannequins however mentioned it made curriculum adjustments final September to deliver extra variety to the cosmetology classroom.

“The hairstylist provincial apprenticeship committee continues to be mindful of ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation, including the natural hair movement when reviewing and maintaining training standards and evaluation products,” learn an announcement from the Ministry of Superior Training.

However these girls say there’s nonetheless extra to be performed.

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