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natural hair, Corally Ortiz

Afro-Latina Reporter Gets Racist Comment About Her Natural Hair

Corallys Ortiz, an Afro-Latina meteorologist and reporter in Tennessee, was told her natural curls were “n***ery looking” on a voicemail from a TV viewer on Sunday night.

Ortiz is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, and due to her racial ambiguity, some assume she is Black or of mixed descent. She explained it was just her second time wearing her hair in its natural state since she moved to Tennessee 10 months ago.

In her post, she shared how she grew to love her “poof” over time because growing up, she was  accustomed to straightening it.

“A viewer who goes by Donna felt that my hair wasn’t up to ‘her standards,'” Ortiz wrote in a Facebook status. “The following video just reflects back to everything I just said about criticism and dealing with what is considered ‘cultural or racial ignorance.’ Racism for short. It is very clear you can hear what she says and it’s something that don’t condone.”

In the video, the caller can be heard 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***ery looking.”

Ortiz ended her message with, “I hope a post like this brings to light the constant criticism a person of color might face just for being themselves. I hope it serves as a lesson to people like Donna and to remind her that we are living in a new century, in nation filled with people of different background, cultures, ideals, colors, shapes and sizes.”

Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.