February 18, 2011

Hands Off?

One of my natural girlfriends and I had a conversation this morning about how we feel about people touching our hair.  I have read so many posts about people feeling outraged about it.  Most feel it is in appropriate and rude.  I liken it to my experience when I was pregnant with my now 2 year old son.  Pregnancy is always a conversation piece – no matter where you go, people usually respond with a huge smile on their face as they bombard you with questions about the little person in your womb.  When are you due?  Do you know what you’re having?  Do you have other children?  Etc etc…it can be sometimes be a little overwhelming as you are answering the same questions day after day, all day.  It’s almost as if you should hold a press conference and respond to these inquiries all at once and get it over with.  At the same time, it’s very heartwarming for people to voice their happiness for you.  Some would even go so far as to reach out and touch my growing belly.  I didn’t mind my close friends and family, however, it can create a feeling of invasion when it is a stranger or even a casual associate.  I didn’t want to be rude so it always made me feel awkward in those instances.  It is a little different with my hair.  I actually like people to touch my hair.  Especially when it’s followed by a compliment and preceded by a request for permission!  Now let me clarify – I do not want a random person rummaging through my hair, consented or otherwise.  I also do not want someone wanting to touch my hair in their quest to confirm or dismiss their stereotypical  views of what “black hair” feels like.  I am equally annoyed at hair haters who are in total disbelief about the length – “that cannot be all you!”  Really?  So, we’re on that “black girls can’t have long hair thing”?  Overall, I completely understand the desire to touch my hair.  I can barely stay out of it myself!  Your take? 

Check out this article from Black Voices on this topic: http://www.bvhairtalk.com/2010/04/23/can-i-touch-your-hair/

1 comment:

kaydensmum said...

Good thing because I stay in your hair. It's so sooooft!