Last month, I came across this interesting video entitled What Not to Say to People With Afro Hair. I’ll save my opinion for after the video.
If the video doesn’t load automatically, you can watch it here.
While I do agree that some of the questions posed could be inappropriate or offensive, I really don’t get this Don’t Touch My Hair philosophy. Personally, I will take a curious non-Black over a racist and biggotted non-Black any day of the week.
I grew up in a Black-majority country, which means that non-Afro hair was a minority. Even so, I am one of the few people in my maternal family with kinky hair; and had many friends of Indian, Chinese, and White backgrounds with loose curls, waves, or straight hair.
Most of them certainly wouldn’t like a stranger coming up and invading their personal space by attempting to touch their hair, but family and friends had free reign. We loved touching their hair!
I can’t imagine how offended we would have been back then, if they all started walking around with T-shirts declaring Don’t Touch My Hair! Or calling us racist because we wanted to know what curly spirals or bone-straight hair felt like.
In short, having lived on the flipside of the coin, I think the whole Don’t Touch My Hair mantra for any other reason than maintaining personal space is ridiculous. I don’t believe someone is racist because they want to see what my hair feels like.
I know my hair is fascinating and fabulous, and yes, you can touch it. You can read my full thoughts on this in a 2016 post entitled Go Ahead – Touch It!
What are your thoughts on this? Tell me all about it in the comments below.