I want to start this by saying that life would be so much better if people could master the art of just minding their own business.
I was walking the aisles of Target --- like I do nearly every week and I noticed a children's book with a beautiful Black child with an afro on it. The title made me smile.
“DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR” was written in all caps. I smiled because much like the child with the afro on the front of a children’s book, I was a child with an afro. Poofy, sometimes untamed, tight curls rested on my hair.
My point in typing all of this is that from a young age, Black women are subjected to the hands and prodding questions about our hair. We are somehow convinced that we must explain our hair and how it takes to varying lengths and styles.
I understand the curiosity, I really do. As a biracial Black child living in a white home I often wanted to ask about all of the different styles. I had a reason to be curious though, I wanted to know how to protect my curly, natural hair.
Curiosity in childhood is one thing but to have grown adults touching my hair in a grocery store in the middle of a pandemic? No. Not okay.
It’s time that everyone learns to mind their business. If you think about asking a Black woman if her hair is real? Stay out of Black people’s business. If you want to know ---- google it. Read about it. Educate yourself on hair textures and hair styles, protective styles and curl patterns.
Stop touching people’s hair. Stop asking your Black friends if their hair is theirs. Of course the hair on their head is their own hair. Stop assuming Black women don’t grow their own hair. Black women can and do grow out their own hair. It is possible, I know you’re shocked that it doesn’t match the racist narrative you were taught.
Black women are goddesses. They are beautiful no matter what style their hair is in and no matter their tone of skin. This should not need to be said. In society, Black women are disrespected so blatantly and annoyingly, sadly the internet has made this more noticeable.
While we’re at it, stop being colorist too. Stop looking at Biracial Black women as exotic creatures or check’s to mark on your bucket list. Stop the narrative that lighter skinned Black women have “better” hair. What does that even mean? Black women have so many different textures of hair and it is not exclusive to the color of skin one possesses.
I am so saddened every single time I hear a child look in the mirror and sulk because they hate their hair. It has taken so many years of learning to care for my hair to learn how to love it. Growing up in this society does not make it any easier. It is so hard to even express how difficult it is to face the questions with racist undertones and assumptions.
Please care for your Black friends. Please teach your children to keep their hands to themselves. Please keep your own hands to yourself. Please stop expecting Black people to educate you, do it yourself.