A Must-Read Before Touching My Hair Without Permission
I see ya'll are still out here cutting up when it comes to black hair. Here we are, almost halfway through 2018...
AND HERE I AM STILL TELLING SOME OF YA'LL TO KEEP YOUR PAWS AWAY FROM MY FRO.
Truth time: I don't like being touched by strangers. Who does? I don't know what kind of actual filth someone might have been rummaging around in right before coming out of the restroom and NOT washing their hands. My fight or flight was tested for the first time a few months ago when a coworker tried to
Before that day, I'd NEVER experienced it personally. I'd always heard the stories from other black women and thought "hmm...glad this hasn't happened to me. Sounds terrible." I mean, black women are already labeled as aggressors even when we speak in the calmest Toni Braxton tones in stressful situations. Often, it doesn't matter what we do anyway since Carol will always find a way to be the victim.
We're wrong for hurting a person's feelings by saying "no."
We're responsible for how you react to being told "no."
We can say "no," but it has to be in a way that's pleasing to you.
Sounds mad predatory and kinda victim-shamey, right? Man. That's crazy.
But back to Stacy, ya'll.
So here Sarah comes, asking questions about work processes.
Then, out of nowhere, I hear "Wow! Your hair looks amazing!"
I looked up to see a hand coming straight for me as she's simultaneously asking, "Can I tou--."
You know what I did?
I slid straight back in that rolling chair like she had the plague. I rolled all the way backwards to the other cubicle. Because what is you doin, baby?
That embarrassed her (of course, because how dare I), and I swear Emily went through a few stages of grief while miraculously dodging the acceptance part of it all.
- Shock- What's wrong with letting her touch my hair? Why was I overreacting?
- Denial- Susie tried it again, and I leaned all the way to the left in my chair and gave her a cold ass stare that said, "Try it a third time and we're both getting escorted out of here."
- Bargaining- She ACTUALLY told me "the other girl" lets her do it all the time. I'm still trying to figure out what someone else's hair has to do with mine. But...go off.
- Anger- You know that typical thing all the Samanthas do. They get loud, make a little scene because you denied them, and tell everyone who will listen that you don't like them/ are mean to them. No, girl. I'm just not your pet.
She asked me “why?” several times, and each time my response was "no." That's all Shannon deserved from me.
Sometimes it isn't just hair that people might be after without permission, and it's scary to think about how inappropriate people are when it comes to personal space. Think about how often you see grown-ups giving children kisses on the face, how the kids CLEARLY don't want to be bothered, and how these kids end up getting in trouble because they were "rude." Some of ya'll are mad cringy and need to rethink some things.
You don't owe anyone an explanation. Your "no" is always enough.