Yes, This Is My Hair!
I've been natural all my life, excluding that one awkward year where I cut off my locks at 17-years-old, and got a perm. Let's just say I was being rebellious and a relaxer seemed like the most logical thing to do. Fast forward years later, I’m rocking an Afro; black, kinky, and bold. I’m loving it. My hair has never felt more me. While I rock my hair with pride, I’ve noticed it’s garnering attention and not always for the right reasons.
Just last week, I was getting my car serviced and as I was entering the building, a young guy walked passed and said, “I like your hair, is it real?” I quickly responded, “You never ask a lady that question,” and made my way out of the cold. I knew he was a young and possibly didn’t know any better, but I was mortified by the fact that he was young and didn’t know any better. To have the audacity to ask if something’s real without any real premises except curiosity is not enough. We have lost our sense of decorum, and it is not okay.
What makes an individual authentic is their ability to be as they are where they are. When you ask a person such intimate questions, it reduces them to what you deem as unauthentic because it ain’t real. Says who? A person’s character is not subjected by what they have on their head, but what’s inside. The saying goes: If I brought it, it’s mine. Touché!
Ladies, you don’t get a pass. As women, you know that a part of our magic lies in our ability to transform, from schoolteacher, to runway model, without blinking an eyelash. Without any digression, I’m asked in grocery store lines, by bank tellers balancing my accounts, in passing without even so much as a handshake. Have you ever considered that people don’t share the same sentiments as you with sharing such information? Like my credit score, it’s private. If we aren’t in a closed space where we can speak openly, then no, I don’t feel comfortable answering that question.
Whether my hair is short, big, long, braided, weaved, crocheted, or in between, it's my hair! Mine. If you can't tell if it grows out my scalp or not then I've done my job well. It’s time to give people their flowers without question. It doesn’t hurt to pay someone a compliment without having to know where and how much. I know we live in a world of overshares, however remember that world exist online. There are platforms created for sharing, and I am totally fine with transparency, but it doesn’t mean I have to stand for everything. I know my self worth, and I own every bit of my power, that includes saying no.
So if a person is having a good hair day, give that sister a compliment. Resist the need to belittle her with spurious questions. Let it be.