In “You go girl!” news, anchor Rochelle Ritchie of West Palm Beach, Florida’s WPTV-TV submitted to “The Big Chop” in front of thousands of viewers. Ritchie decided to turn her transformation from long, relaxed hair to natural hair into a compelling story during sweeps week — one which brought in huge ratings for the station. “My decision to go natural was not an easy one, especially being a Black female reporter,” Ritchie revealed in a conversation with Keonte Coleman, Assistant Professor of Bennett College’s Journalism & Media Studies Department. “After graduating, I sent out tons of resume tapes… but I didn’t get one interview with my relaxed, shoulder-length hair. Then I got extensions, made a new tape, and started getting calls immediately. From there, the belief that I needed extensions in order to be hired set in…” Ritchie’s frank discussion of her decision to go natural came as a pleasant surprise to us, since female African American television reporters have generally been encouraged to wear straightened hairstyles. “For my ‘Black female reporter hopefuls,’ I say let your work show your ability to be a great reporter,” advises Ritchie. “I regret falling into the belief that I needed to look a certain way to get into this business. But no more! This is me, Rochelle Ritchie, a natural, professional, happy television reporter. And I look forward to climbing the ladder of success with my kinky curls.” Have you ever changed your hairstyle to get a job? Let us know in the comments section!
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