Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Race & Hair

LANGUAGE WARNING: This video does contain inappropriate language for children!!!

So let's talk a minute about race relations and hair.

I may have shared this story before but when J was a couple of years old I picked out her hair into this beautiful HALO. I put in a pretty head band and headed off to a local store. Now we lived in Maine at the time, in a small town and it was pretty much white. After paying for our items we stood by the front to wait for my mother to finish paying for her items. J and I played as we were approached by an older white woman. She was laughing and came up to us saying, "that can't be real!!" Confused we just looked at her when suddenly this woman reached out and grabbed a hold (with both hands) of my daughters hair and began to pull.

I just stood there, dazed and confused and was too shocked to say anything but "THAT IS HER HAIR!' Or something to that effect. I'd be happy to tell you I had words with this woman or even turned it into a teaching moment but, no, unfortunately I was too in shock to do much of anything.

The Audacity of this woman to put her hands on my little princess's hair!!! I can't even explain how mad I was. Had she never seen a black/biracial person before? Surely that couldn't be the truth!! So what in the world made her think she had the right to pull on my daughter's hair whether it was real OR fake hair??

I am sure we all have curiosity about other people and their hair. I have friends and my daughter has friends who want to touch my hair and style it. There is a level of intimacy between us where that is OK... but, you really have to know someone well to know when it's OK to be touching their hair (or body lol).

Have any of your run into similar situations? Odd questions about your hair? Inappropriate hair touching incidents?


  1. I have never ran into a situation like this, but if I did that lady would be missing not only her hand, but her whole arm too! That's just a no no in my book.

  2. Ha ha ha! Yeah I woulda done more had I not been so in shock!!! I live in the South now and have heard so much craziness here.

  3. Are you kidding me? Pulled her hair? OMG! I would have been fighting! I don't think that could have ever been a teaching moment.

    How did this end? I'd love to know. Never have any issues like this, I live in a very diverse area. So we are the norm here.

  4. I have had someone touch my child's hair. People have tired to play in my daughter's hair (her hair is cottony and bushy), and I've asked them to stop. I don't care about seeming rude. It's even more rude for a stranger to just touch my child without my permission.

    When my son was younger, his hair was stick straight and 7 inches long (until he turned 3), and I had a woman approach me and say "Oh my goodness! He's such a beautiful baby. And all that hair. How do you get it to lay down flat?" (Really what she wanted to know was how a child who looked to be Black could have stick straight hair) And she proceeded to play in it. I slowly turned him away from her and said "Um, nothing but a little olive oil".

  5. Just last month, at a Kinky Curly event at a local "natural" salon, something like this happened. Not quite as extreeme, but inappropriate touching. I let my oldest wear her hair down and out using the Kinky Curly product to go meet Shelley, creator/owner of Kinky Curly. We were in the second to last row and the lady behind her reached up and touched her hair. I cut my eyes at her and put my arm around my daughter. The lady said - Oh, sorry, I'm new to the natural thing. I told her it was Ok, just make sure to ask before you touch. lol


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