Mixed Feelings 

Heya Everybody on this rainy Sunday! It’s raining here where I am, but I’m loving it. I recently stumbled across a post on Instagram and decided to share my thoughts on my blog. 

Back in 2013, there was a big event in New York City called You can touch my hair. It garnered a lot of attention and opened up a huge dialogue among a lot of different races. Now, there is talk about having another one. The You can touch my hair event allowed strangers to come up and touch Black women’s hair. If you are a Black woman like myself, you more than likely know why this event was held. For those of you who are not Black, I will explain below.

There is a huge unspoken fascination with Black or Afro textured hair. Many are intrigued by it and that fascination often leads to unwanted touching. I can’t tell you how many times I had strangers rake their hands through my hair or even “pet” my hair. It’s the worse for me when I wear my hair in a twist out or when I press it straight because I have so much of hair. It kills me when someone asks, ‘Can I touch your hair?’ and before I can even give an answer their hands are already in my head. If you don’t gone on!

The You can touch my hair event allowed strangers to walk up and touch Black women’s hair without having to ask or worry about the fear of being told ‘No.’ What were the top responses?

1. I’ve always wanted to touch a Black person’s hair!

2. Wow! It’s actually really soft.

3. It smells like chocolate. (What they were actually smelling is cocoa butter). 

4. I had no idea Black people’s hair can grow this long.

5. I thought it would feel greasy.

My late paternal Grandmother who was Native American would say that Black people’s hair was magic because at first glance, it looks really short. But when blown out and pressed straight, it’s actually much longer. I’ve had people ask me if I was wearing a weave because my hair is so long. Nope, that is what we in the Black natural hair community call “shrinkage.”

So, as far as strangers coming up and touching my hair, ask me first. I would never walk up and put my hands in a stranger’s hair and I don’t understand why so many people feel it’s okay to do that to a large amount of Black people, especially Black women. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve had this happen to me on some of my jobs. Geez Louise!

Would I ever participate in an event such as this? Oh no! Honey Bunches of No! But to each their own…

Until next time… 

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Blogger. Writer. Logophile.

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