WPTV reporter Rochelle Ritchie with relaxed hair
On December 29, Michelle Breyer, co-founder of NaturallyCurly.com, was on the NPR radio show “Tell Me More” discussing natural hair and the personal, political and economic implications of being natural. Joining her was Rochelle Ritchie, reporter at WPTV in West Palm Beach, FL and Danielle Belton, author of the blog BlackSnob.com.
Rochelle started the conversation by talking about her personal experience when going natural. A female anchor told her that she needed to get extensions when she was first starting out in the TV world. This adviser said stations were going for a long and straight look. Rochelle got the extensions and wore wigs and immediately started getting calls from other stations and began moving up the reporting ladder. At that point, she vowed to wear the wigs and extensions no matter what the cost.
For six years, she wore a straight and sleek style and also spent more than $9500 on the services. Eventually, she was inspired to do a big chop after noticing the severe damage being done to her hair. Rochelle pitched the story idea to her managers, and they ran with the idea. Rochelle is now completely natural and told her T.V. audience, “This is how you will see me reporting from now on.”