Seeking to spark a discussion on self expression and acceptability in corporate culture, photographer Endia Beal has launched a photo series called “Can I Touch It“. For the series, Beal selected white middle-aged women, sent them to a black salon to get their hair done, then put them in corporate attire and took her photos.

“I wanted people that had a certain idea of what you’re supposed to look like in the workspace, because it would be a challenge for them to understand what I experienced in that space. And to a degree, many young white women have shared that experience, but for older white women it’s an experience they haven’t necessarily had,” Beal shared.


The photo series was inspired by Beal’s experience working in the IT department at Yale, where her big, red afro generated attention from her mostly white, male co-workers.


Slate Magazine has an awesome write up on the photo series. You can find it here. Ladies, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

Leave a Reply

90 Comments on "Photo Series Shows Corporate White Women in Braid, Twist and Curly Styles"

Notify of

Only one of those women looks contented with her hairstyle… some others look mildly insulted, and one looks amused.

BubzLife Starlight

It looks like crap on WW


From the Slate article: Beal said many of the women she took to the salon took pictures of their new hairstyle on their smartphones and posted pictures on Facebook. Almost all of them embraced Beal after the portraits were taken, saying they were excited to have experienced something new. “Some of them wanted to wear [their hairstyles] out, and some wanted to go home,” Beal said. “Many of them said, ‘I can’t wait to get home and show my husband!’ ”


[…]… […]


I thought the first lady looked nice. The style fits her face.

wait what’s the point of this? I’m looking through these photos. . . finally clicking on the link. I saw it the first time and said, oh no what now. And then said uh uh I do not want to see any of that mess. Was the point of this to say that this styles should not be worn in the work place? Majority of these styles can be done, on our texture hair, that it won’t be such a devastating experience. I know there are some over the top things people do. But I think as long as your… Read more »

These pictures are hideous. The models themselves look unconfortable and annoyed. Uh-Uh


….lololol!! I was thinking the same thing. They all have this WTF look on their faces 😉


I think the Redhead was feeling her style lol, she’s the only one that looks close to happy.


They all look pissed lol


But fingerwaves though….do people even wear those anymore? Helmet head & the Office…idk that’s a stretch. But the other ones are dead on.

If you really want to be daring, how about headwraps? Ive worn headscarves on many occasions to board meetings and never once got reprimanded. I was known for wearing headwraps, afros, braids, twist outs etc in the office of a 500+ employee insurance company corporate office. As were many of my coworkers.


I think it was great that these ladies went to a Black salon to get their hair done. And don’t forget, the stylists probably weren’t used to working on a white person’s hair so some of the styles are a bit awkward. Like when I used to go to white salons when I was too lazy to go into the big city to a Black salon-my hair always looked like a science project when I walked out. I’m all natural now and very happy.



BM Rambus

Yes! Nice, keep at it. Its Universal! (Remember where it came from) but Yes, braids, twists, etc needs to be introduced even more into the corporate world. Its not going any where and needs to be no only accepted but understood.

Camille Mckinnon

This display demonstrates a much larger movement in America. Amazingly striking. If this spreads, this would bridge the gap between woman every where in the world. This display would start a mighty movement that could create a war among religious groups of women. We rule. All women. We no longer conform. Women of all races and and socio-economic classes are now wearing their hair any way they wish; any where they wish. LOL!!!


This is quite striking and thought provoking! My immediate thoughts are that we (curly haired women) are expected to wear our hair as theirs grows naturally, turning to perms and inordinate amounts of heat to achieve this feat. They seemingly look ridiculous but so do we when we superimpose their hairstyles onto our heads. I would like to challenge these women to maintain their braided hair dos for even a week, something that is easy for our hair at its natural state but will prove nearly impossible for them. Now tell me that my hair is not professional!!

This was so laughable I could hardly contain myself. Lol tears are falling from my eyes as I type. It reminds me of the colonial period, where men wore wigs. Let’s face it some hair styles , clothes, etc are not flattering to the face or body. When I was younger and middle aged now, my daughter has tried a few of these styles on me at home. I laughed at myself and took them out. Now don’t get me wrong, have seen these styles on many and have complimented them on how good they look. However, if I saw… Read more »