While I was standing at the coffee machine I noticed some co-workers looking at my hair. I smiled, grabbed my cup and walked to my desk. A couple of days later one of them came to my desk and asked if she could touch my hair. “Of course you can, but please do not ‘detangle’ my hair with your finger” I answered!! I explained that this would eventually cause more frizz and frizz is REAL. The next day the other colleague approached me and asked if my hair was fake. When I told her it was real, she attacked my hair!
I was on Facebook the other day and the comments I read motivated me to write this article. The comments were often hateful or impolite towards cultures who are curious and admiring our hair texture. I can barely count how many negative posts I read which made me wonder what is going on in this world? Here are some of the comments I read:
“White people always touch my hair, please stop”
“Those people touching our hair without asking deserve a throat punch”
“I would love to slap them b*tches who touch my hair”
“Some dude had the nerve to comment on my hair and touch it. He was a drunk Asian guy”
Did you notice that most comments are referring to a certain nationality? Would it be any different if a
dark skinned person was making these comments? And if it’s ok for “us” why not other ethnicities?
In my introduction I mentioned two co-workers, one who polity asked if she could touch my hair and one who “attacked” me without even asking. The distinct difference between the two is that one coworker was polite and the latter not. Now get this… both colleagues were Black. My point?…
Politeness does not depend on the ethnicity or skin color of the individual; it depends on their approach and willingness to learn. Instead of going on Facebook and other types of social media to rant, I’ve decided it might be worthwhile to educate others about our values and culture. Something that might be obvious for us is not that obvious for others.
Perhaps people wanting to touch my hair is a gesture used to compliment my precious locks.
Indeed, it might be annoying if someone touches your hair without asking… especially if you’re having a bad day. However, I’ve experienced that some friends and colleagues were touching my hair out of curiosity – or dare I say envy. Perhaps people wanting to touch my hair is a gesture used to compliment my precious locks.
Lastly, hateful comments result in a bad image of our wonderful community. Let’s foster a healthy conversation about our differences and not succumb to the very ignorance we deplore. What are your thoughts on the topic? Do you let people touch your hair if they ask politely? Share your comments below!