U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put the brakes on the Army’s new hairstyle guidelines Tuesday when he ordered a review of the changes.
The guidelines, which fall under a new regulation formally known as AR 670-1, ban hairstyles such as twists, large cornrows, braids, and dreadlocks.
The Pentagon says the rules are an effort to ensure uniformity. Opponents, however, say the guidelines are part of a cultural pressure for women in the military to conform to an unrealistic standard.
One of those people is Jasmine Jacobs, an Atlanta resident who served in Iraq in 2008 and 2009. Jacobs is leading an online protest to change the regulations. She was due to get out of the Georgia National Guard on May 15, but after she launched a petition on WhiteHouse.gov, the Army moved up her departure several weeks.
Jacobs, who avoids chemical straighteners, told GPB's On The Story she started the petition because she felt she was left with very few hairstyle choices.