This World is Not for Us
Hey guys! It's been a while, but blogging takes some serious brain power, lol. Also, it's difficult when you have so many ideas and can't even wrap your head around how to go about them! For today's post, I figured we'd have a little #STORYTIME.
So, earlier this year, I went to participate in a research study with a company whose name shall NOT be revealed. I arrived at the place, signed in, checked my vision, and headed on to the back. This was an EEG study, so I took off my head scarf so the person could put on the cap.
For EEG studies, you're supposed to arrive with clean, dry hair with no product. Meaning, wash the night before. I, unfortunately, did not realize this until the night before, when it was too late to try to wash my hair. I ended up washing it in the morning. Obviously my hair doesn't dry overnight (I would assume many of you could say the same thing), so you can imagine what my situation was looking like the morning of the study. Also, no product AND dry hair? At the same time? My only option was to stretch out my hair or blow it out with low heat in order for it to dry in time.
So I'm there at the study with a low bun in my dense (but finally dry) hair and the dude looks at me like his task was to climb Mount Everest. He measures my head for a cap size hesitantly and makes some comment like, "Let's see ... I'm gonna try," as if the mesh stretchy cap won't fit on my head.
After getting the cap on my head (with no problem), he goes to put the leave-in conditioner that they use before connecting the wires. After asking me if I feel it and getting my "yes" response, he goes, "Oh, no. This won't work. I have to go too deep to reach your scalp. I apologize." He tries to be all nonchalant, making comments like, "You just have such amazing thick hair," and continues to quickly take everything off my head within seconds until his superior sticks her head out of her office to ask what's happening. He tells her that my hair is too thick, blah blah blah, but she basically tells him to try again because they need me to close out the study. He does. It works. We head to the designated room and continue on with the study.
This dude would've just let me walk out of the study because my hair was too thick?! Clearly this study was content with testing (basically) only wypipo with thin, straight hair because the only way a black person would get through the study without going through what I went through is if their hair was thin, chemically relaxed, or straightened.
I didn't even think about it until afterwards, but in the questionnaire for eligibility they asked if you have braids, extensions, weave, etc.. I'm guessing I would not have been eligible for the study, had I had them. So, after excluding those people ALONG with those with thick, curly hair (because, apparently, that's a problem), you're left with a whitewashed study. Ain't that something? I understand that testing has procedures, but that man was way too quick to dismiss me as a participant in the study.
This blog post wasn't meant to be anything too crazy, and I'm not even that mad about it anymore (since it happened months ago), but it's ridiculous how every, single day the world just keeps giving us examples of how it isn't made or set up for us. They don't consider us, they don't include us, they don't represent us. And they do all this without questioning that maybe things are skewed or not representative of all people because they actually don't care. Ugh. Let me go eat some ice cream, or something.
Stay classy, friends.
#researchstudy #inclusion #paidresearchstudy #blackresearchparticipant #researchparticipant #prejudice #exclusion #blackinamerica #blackinresearch #youraverageafrolatina #naturalhairproblems #naturalhair