A teen whose hairstyle prevented him from working at his local Six Flags now has a promising career ahead of him.
In March, 17-year-old Kerion Washington was turned away from working at the Six Flags Over Texas because he wears his hair in locs.
"They told me I could cut my hair and come back, that it's just hair and it would grow back," the Fort Worth-native explained. "But they compared it to having a tattoo. I didn't want to cut it."
A teen who says he was turned away from a summer job at Six Flags Over Texas because of his "extreme hairstyle" is finding new opportunities as a model. https://t.co/nDC476VBUR— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) July 10, 2019
While he was searching for other gigs, his story was collecting traction on his mother's Facebook account. After gaining close to 17,000 shares, Washington began to get flooded by companies welcoming his locs. This included being reached out to by the acclaimed IMG Los Angeles modeling agency.
According to the Dallas Morning News, IMG Los Angeles' head of development Corrie Caster was sent an article on Washington's story from a friend and Caster was intrigued by his photo.
"I scout the world looking for talent and stories," Caster explained. "I didn't know his story then, but he had a lot of the physical features we look for in our models."
Caster then offered Washington an opportunity with a local agency and he agreed. He now travels to Austin where he's training with Jones Model Management. Washington states that the directors describe him as "a natural" and admits that it's much easier than working at Six Flags would've been.
"The shoot wasn't exhausting at all," Washington said. "It was easy work, and it was really fun."
Once he builds a suitable portfolio, Jones Model Management will pitch him for consideration as a client for IMG Los Angeles, the same firm that hosts superstar talent such as Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kate Moss, and Ashley Graham.
It's not the first time Six Flags has been called out over their hair policy. Back in April, teenager Brandon Kobe Pierce said he was denied employment at the amusement park due to his braids. "They pulled me aside at the end of it and said, ‘You would have to cut your hair or we can't hire you at Six Flags,’" the teen said.