Culture

Teen is denied a job based on looks, then asked to be a model

July 18th, 2019

Employers can be picky when it comes to hiring their employees. More than skill they are a lot of times looking for someone who is going to ‘look’ the part. It’s well known that employers don’t like visible tattoos, piercings, outrageous hair colors, and depending on the position, interesting clothing. In this particular instance, Kerion Washington was rejected for having dread locks. After his interview for a summer job, it was clear to him that he didn’t get the position because of his hairstyle.

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Kerion went on to show them, because not long after his mom posted the incident on Facebook, the modeling agency IMG looked him up, reached out to him on Instagram, and told him to start putting together a profile. The specific agent that discovered him, Corrie Caster, works at the same agency that manages the likes of Gigi Hadid and Ashley Graham. “I was like ‘Wow’, like I couldn’t think straight. I just… I just didn’t know what to say,” Kerion said in an interview with Inside Edition.

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Kerion’s mom, Karis Washington, is thrilled about how the turn of events played out. When she found out that Six Flags didn’t hire him based on his dread locks, she took her anger to Facebook, but not without doing her homework. “I spoke with the HR supervisor and she said that they gave him the opportunity to come back when he don’t have dreads.” Karis said. In an interview Kerion went on to say “But once they told me, it was shocking. I never thought that they didn’t allow dreads at the time. It’s simply discrimination.” At the time, Six Flags Over Texas said that in their policy, dreads fell under an “extreme” hairstyle, in the realm of tattoos and piercings.

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kerion_washington/instagram.com Source: kerion_washington/instagram.com

After the post got so many comments and views, Six Flags then released a statement to InsideEdition saying that they have since changed their outdated policy. The statement read “Male team members may now wear dreadlocks- provided per our standard guidelines- they are well-groomed and do not extend past the bottom of the collar,”, which is a step in the right direction for the park.

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kerion_washington/instagram.com Source: kerion_washington/instagram.com

But Kerion isn’t concerning himself with the thoughts of Six Flags now that he scored his modeling gig. IMG Modeling who originally saw his story has set him up with a local agency that will help him start and build up his portfolio.Everyone online has continued to be supportive the more that his story is shared, and some were concerned what mom thought of all this new attention, but Karis assured everyone in an interview that she’s fine with all the attention her son is getting. “It’s gonna happen, I can’t stop people from saying what they gotta say. I mean positive and negative stuff. I roll with the punches when it comes to the comments. Though Kerion says he still needs a summer job, his future is looking bigger and brighter.

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Source: insideedition.com

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