Celebrities Style File — 12 November 2011
Return of the Cornrow: Don’t Follow Fifty’s Example

Kyles Files fam, we need to talk.

Far be it from me to be the fashion police. I have no designs on standing on somebody’s red carpet heckling celebrities as they limp by in too-tall heels or shaming the male of the species for embracing scraggly beards or hitcher hair.

But I would not be doing my job if I didn’t say something…right now about an epidemic I call “Return of the Cornrowed Man.”

I love the fact that we live in a free society where personal appearance is a choice, but some choices are better than others, specifically when you’re in, or trying to enter, the workforce.

In other words: Don’t let 50 Cent get you in trouble.  In the video below,  check out Mr. Cent on Rachael Ray wearing a fine suit and a hairstyle that made him look like Xzibit’s brother circa early 2000.

Hell, even X isn’t wearing cornrows now, Fif!

But at least this mogul is fire-proof and he isn’t exactly in anybody’s application file.  For the rest of us mere mortals, it’s a risk to embrace a hairstyle that is easily fuzzed up, shows half your scalp and may suggest you spend a lot of time on porches getting your braids tended to by your playcousins.

And if that isn’t convincing enough, consider that Jim Jones (Baaaallllinggg) is a ‘row aficionado.  (No offense to Jones, but his last hair choice looked like the pigtails of a five-year-old girl after she has been rolling in leaves.)  He isn’t exactly a tastemaker, ladies and gents.

Credit: The Urban Daily

But in case you don’t believe me, and think that K-Fed and David Beckham’s cornrow pasts are more welcoming than alarming, I put out a call to some HR experts to get the verdict on this look.

Here’s what Khalilah Starks, from one of my favorite career sites highpoweredprofessionals.com,  had to say on the topic.

Cornrows are an absolute no-no if you aspire to be granted that plush corner office with a window one day.  However, there are some liberal industries, such as the entertainment industry, that tend to be more accepting of cornrows.   Most blue-collar job holders also get a pass.  But, if your goal is upward mobility in a traditional white collar office, the cornrows have got to go.

So what do you think?  Is the cornrow making a comeback?  And while we’re at it, what’s your least favorite hair choice in pop today?

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