“Code Switching”,2023

“Code Switching”,2023 This wearable dress and matching mask (made from synthetic hair, curlers and a ski-mask) is entitled "In my customer Service Voice '' I was thinking of the history of passing and how it coincides with the idea and act of co-switching in the workplace today. Black women today are 80 % more likely to change their natural hair to meet social norms or expectations for work.

Since slavery and especially during the Jim Crow era; black people have had to change their appearance and adapt their behavior to fit social norms. Fitting into social norms meant a potential better job, housing and more. Today while there is not as much pressure to alter our appearance for the workplace there are still guidelines in place that work against black people and our natural appearance and behavior.
We are expected to be articulate, to dress neatly in accordance to company guidelines, to speak clearly but in a pleasant tone so we don't not come off angry. We tend to put a mask on everyday to fit the social norms of not just our jobs but also in schools.