Corallys Ortiz, a meteorologist and TV reporter at WBBJ 7 in Jackson, TN, decided that instead of her usual straight-haired look, she would give her hair a break and wear her natural curls on TV.
“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.
Ortiz, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, initially received a lot of positive feedback from viewers who appreciated her natural look.
But Ortiz says on Sunday night, she received a voicemail at the station, which blasted her for simply being herself. Hear it in the video above.
A creaky woman’s voice can be heard on tape saying,
“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’.”
What is “normal?” How is what naturally grows from someones head not “normal?”
It’s a struggle many women of color in television news face daily, with journalists like Tamron Hall, Melissa Harris-Perry and Demetria Obilor, paving the way for normalizing natural hair at every level of broadcast news.
Since the posting, the reporter has received a wide outpouring of support from her fans and viewers.
She shared the above photo thanking her viewers for their support. She wrote:
“Thank you isn’t even enough!
Thank you Jackson and West Tennessee for showing what southern hospitality really is! Thank you for your support these last couple of days. You see me in your homes every week and I wanted to show my support for YOU in my own home.
Thank you to whoever sent these beautiful flowers! With their different colors, shapes and sizes, it shows the different ways beauty is represented. Like the diverse and beautiful demographic of people we have in this area.
Thank you, Gracias for the love! And just how the cards on the flowers say, “You have friends in Jackson!”
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