Teen Rejected From a Job at Six Flags Because of His Dreads Is Now a Model
Kerion Washington, 17, is practicing his poses.
Look at him now: Kerion Washington, 17, is practicing his poses, since he has just become a model.
Not a bad upgrade, after he said he was rejected from a job at Six Flags Over Texas in March, all allegedly because of his dreadlocks.
Corrie Caster, a scout for IMG Models Worldwide, contacted the Fort Worth teen on Instagram. Caster works for the same agency that represents Gigi Hadid and Ashley Graham.
"I was like, 'Wow.' I couldn't think straight. I just ... I just didn't know what to say," Kerion told InsideEdition.com.
"He just ran to me and was like, 'Mom! Mom! look at this!'" Kerion’s mother, Karis Washington, chimed in.
IMG put him in touch with a local agency, Jones Model Management. Now, the teen is assembling a portfolio.
This all came about because Kerion wanted to get a summer job at Six Flags. But he and Karis said his hairstyle cost him the gig.
"I spoke with the HR supervisor and she said they gave him the opportunity to come back when he don't have dreads," Karis said.
She added that the woman said company policy considered dreads an "extreme" hairstyle, in the vein of tattoos and piercings.
So furious about the experience, she blasted the theme park on Facebook, writing in part, "But once they told me, it was shocking. I never thought they didn't allow dreads at that time. It's simply discrimination."
The post went viral, attracting tons of attention, including from IMG. Still, Karis said Six Flags Over Texas never contacted her.
In a statement to InsideEdition.com, a spokesperson for Six Flags Over Texas said the theme park has changed its policy.
"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," the statement read.
But for Kerion, the rejection from one job landed him his dream gig. Before school starts back up, he'll be going on several more shoots. In the meantime, Kerion said he's still looking for a summer gig.
"There's so many comments on my photos that are posted saying, 'You're blessed, keep working, keep your head up, don't worry about Six Flags.'"
His mom said she is cool with the attention her son is getting.
"It's gonna happen," Karis said. "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."
When it comes to Kerion's blossoming career, she just might have to.
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