First, just watch the clip:
Question #1: Did you find anything wrong with what you just saw? (Answer it in the comment section below, preferrably before you continue reading).
I can’t remember when the fact that this occurs was first pointed out to me, that many black women have had the experience of people asking about their hair and then touching it without permission. I’ve had dreadlocks and funky goatees and people have asked about it, but I would certainly be weirded out if they just reached out and touched or pulled on my facial hair!
A couple things to point out here. First, the deceptive idea about hair. At some point one learns that some women use hair extensions, ‘weave’ and straightening or curling irons to do their hair. An even deeper secret is that most women in their 30’s (even some late twenty’s) are already greying and regularly dye their hair to cover up that fact. And then there are plenty out their who wear wigs, hair plugs, and all kinds of other things. When I first learned of some of these things it saddened me that we live in a culture that does not embrace ones natural beauty, whether it be cultural or age differences. So, along these lines, why is it that a black women is often confronted about her hair, when it is no more curious then the thousands of women dying their hair to met our “youthful” cultural standards. “So do you dye your hair?” (I ask as I comb through to take a close look at the roots)
Second, there is the issue of entitlement also needs to be dealt with here. Commenter, gatamala, puts it well on Mixed Media Watch’s post about the video:
I think it is a sense of entitlement/ownership masked in “curiousity”. It is dehumanizing to have someone poke/prod/pull to ostensibly check you out. I guess some people can’t put the auction block of the mind away.
Finally, there is the issue of us. Does seeing things like this, hearing people rise up and say something about it, or just letting it fall by the wayside change things? How do we make this world a better, more caring, more informed, more loving, and more real place for all of us?