Seeing television reporters wear braids is rare, but Treasure Roberts is helping make the look more ubiquitous.
On Monday, the 24-year-old reporter and fill-in anchor appeared on WMBD/WYZZ News wearing a black dress, pumps and a braided hairstyle.
While braids are usually Roberts' go-to summer style, this marked the first time she wore the look on-air, and she's received a lot of praise since.
She shared her moment on Twitter posting that years ago she was told to take a clip out of her newsreel because she was wearing braids.
"The news director told me I wouldn't get a job with braids," Roberts said. "I left the clip in and landed a job in the industry. Now, I'm wearing them on-air for the first time. Braids are professional."
Since sharing her success, Roberts' tweet has received over 143,000 likes and more than 15,000 retweets with an outpouring of comments rooting her on.
"I am overwhelmed," Roberts told "Good Morning America," about the positive feedback she's received. "I feel so blessed and so thankful for all of the support. Most importantly, I am so excited that I was able to inspire people nationwide and even people outside of the U.S."
"Representation matters. If anyone gained the confidence to wear their natural hair or protective styles like braids to work because of my post then I did something right."
Roberts said she initially felt discouraged when a news director told her to take the clip out of her newsreel because she felt that it was one of her best stand-ups. In the clip, she was walking in front of an active protest in South Africa as an intern. "I figured a news director would be more concerned about my ability to tell stories than how I wear my hair," she said.
After speaking with another industry professional, who was in shock and disgust after hearing what the previous news director told Roberts, she was advised not to let anyone tell her how to wear her hair. Thankful for the encouragement, she stood her ground and kept the clip in.
"My news station and Nexstar Media Group, Inc. have been very supportive of me wearing my natural hair on-air," said Roberts. "I didn't always have the confidence to do it. It was a step-by-step process. I started with a bun, then an afro-puff then an afro and now box braids."
"Since transitioning into the news industry, this is actually my first time wearing them since 2018. I love how they look, I love the versatile styling options, and most of all the convenience of being able to just wake up, take off your scarf off and go."
Roberts said she posted the pictures of her hair on Twitter to show people that braids are professional. She said that women including Texas-based reporter Tashara Parker and Michigan-based Ashley Graham have inspired her to rock her natural crown and braids.
"I'm not just speaking for myself when I say Black women feel like we need to conform to society's beauty standards in order to be accepted."
"Previously, I thought the only way I could get a job in this field was by wearing my hair straight.," she added. "Straight hair was considered professional. However, my hair does not grow from my head straight. Quite frankly, using a straightener on my hair too much can cause damage. My hair should not have to be straight for it to be considered professional. My natural hair or protective styles like braids should be acceptable in the workplace."
The Illinois-based reporter, unfortunately, lost her mother to breast cancer at 12 years old and said that before becoming a nurse her mother had a dream of being a news reporter.
Roberts is fulfilling her late mother's dream and continues to inspire others.
Reporter shares powerful post on wearing braids on-air for 1st time originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com