Okay, I will start off by saying that this is not an issue for all women of color. However, it annoys others and myself to no end when women of other races want to constantly touch our hair and make it the topic of conversation as if it is some strange phenomenon. Personally speaking, it implies that people of color have abnormal hair. There is nothing abnormal about it. Some people of color just have different textures of hair and want to be left alone to be our natural BEAUTIFUL selves.
I decided to go natural several years ago and enjoyed this style up until last summer when I decided to go back to processed. It didn’t work out for me so I decided to go back natural. Ladies of every race and ethnicty, we all know our one common truth as women is excercising our right to change our minds or try something new.
On my job, I get along great with my co-workers, but it gets to be annoying when the only two women of color in our department get to be the topic of conversation regarding our hair. To speak up about this annoyance places us in a position to be considered “Black Woman” agressive or hyper race sensitve. To not speak up means to endure an office gathering of women each wanting to take turns touching our hair and listening to their hair opinions. One woman even suggested to the other female of color (who has dreads) that she would love to just comb out her hair. She then suggested to me that I would look great with a weave or wig just like another woman of color who works upstairs. REALLY!!!! Stop it people!!! This can be racially offensive even if it is not intended. Please respect our space and do not make a spectacle out of our differences or offer your suggestions as to how we can make our hair more like yours. It implies that you enjoy a superior sense of normality versus others considered to be abnormal because they are different from you. We all are different in so many ways. It’s a great thing to celebrate both the commonalities and differences, but not to the extent where women of color should be forced to indulge in your curiosities and unsolicited opinions for personal appeasement.
If you work on this now, you can teach your kids how to be respectful of others. This will allow them to look at people as just people who are different…none better or worse for their differences, just different. Thank you in advance for treating myself and others with the same respect as I would hope you would want for yourself. As for women of color, we will continue to enjoy our God-given natural beauty while appreciating the beauty in you as well. What say you?
Blessings and Inspiration,
Shannon Ayers Speaks