About a month ago I read an article “Can I touch it? The fascination with natural, African-American hair“. Many natural hair bloggers blogged about this article, twitter was jumping with many sharing their experiences of people touching their hair, whether they were asked or not. At the time of reading this article I hadn’t had an experience that I could actually reflect on which was related.
Well, today I had my experience. While waiting on some items to be inventoried at a consignment shop a lady approached me and asked “Is that your real hair”? I responded, yes. She said, “naw for real”, and before she could get “let me touch it” completely out of her mouth she had her hand in my head. She did not only touch my hair, she dug her hand all the way in feeling around until she could feel my scalp.
Obviously her actions proved that she thought I was lying when I told her yes this is all my hair and she was checking for tracks.
I was so taken aback by her being so bold to abruptly approach a stranger, invade my personal space and all but molest my head, leaving me feeling quite violated. In the moment I was a bit shocked and caught off guard but I had to chuckling a little because all I could think about was the article Can I touch it?
The brief conversation that she and I had after that incident solidified for me that there is so much education that needs to happen about natural black hair, especially within the community.
So much of how black women value beauty, self worth and image is wrapped around our hair. For so many decades we have been conditioned to believe that straight hair is beautiful and natural hair texture that is curly, kinky or coils is nappy which equals ugly. The whole train of thinking, negative point of views about black hair and it being nappy etc. is heart breaking to me.
Because I’m choosing to wear my hair in it’s natural texture, which may in some ways go against what is considered acceptable or the norm by society, does not grant a license for others who are either curious, intrigued or just down right ignorant about natural black hair and the varying textures to be so obtrusive or rude.
In addition to the education that I believe needs to happen, a lot of healing needs to take place so that women can be more accepting of their own unique beauty that God has granted each of us.
Have you ever had an experience similar to this?
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