LINES: Please Touch My Hair

As a woman of color, this monologue really said a lot of things that I sometimes don’t have the words to form sentences for.

Please Touch My Hair No, Please Touch It

If it’s so enticing and you can’t help yourself. You’re curious. You want to demonstrate how much you like it, in ways other than words. Unlike, the first summer I learned how to wear my big curly hair out and natural and I walked all over NYC hearing “Work Girl!” or “Your hair is so beautiful!” Finally loving what I looked like.

Please touch my hair

If you wonder how my genes could produce such a resilient force that will defy gravity, let me remind you I came back to my small town with new hair and confidence and self-love, only to hear “her hair is so big! I can’t see around your poofy hair! Ugh, that’s so distracting!” So I spend the next 5 years in a bun because I was ashamed of my curls.

Please touch my hair

If you find yourself reaching with a childlike curiosity to know its texture, how it grows and feels, know this hair made me the target of girls who thought I thought I was better. Because my Dad is Puerto Rican and I had that “good hair”.

Please touch my hair

Because you don’t see the hard work, time, effort and pride I have in these kinky locs , rather some-thing to satisfy your fancy. Hair that needs water and love and protective styles. The hair that I damaged and sacrificed by not wanting to call any more attention to the scarf wearing brown girl at the all-white sleepover.

Please touch my hair

Since it took me an hour to wash, an hour to condition and detangle, two to twist, overnight to dry and 30 minutes to untwist and style. To find a style that doesn’t make me curse God like I used to for not giving me “manageable hair”.
Please touch my hair

If you’ve never seen a magnificent crown composed of tangles and kinks and curls. Hair, that in its natural state is called nappy, undone, unprofessional, and untamed pelo malo.
Constantly told needs to be straight because straight hair is luxurious in a way that mine could never be. The norm. A standard of beauty. Hair that I had to be re-taught to love.

Please touch my hair

When you can no longer explain why my hair is so versatile. Cornrows or dyed. Plaited. Beaded. Bunned. Bangs. Ballies and barrettes. Extensions and Weaves. Twists. Short, then long. Relaxed. Wash and go’ed. Pressed with a hot comb while sitting on three phonebooks in my kitchen.

Please touch my hair

Because as much as you appreciate the “fun” of my ‘do as it stands tall. When you stare unblinking I am reminded of the Human Zoos. Where brown skinned people were paraded, humiliated and exploited as exhibits and I will not be your Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman.

Please touch my hair

When you wonder why I look like a rebel, a non-conformist, because sometimes I choose to let it do what it wants. This is the hair that outed my grandmother during her senior year of college. When girls she had spent 4 years befriending pushed her into the pool and realized as the moisture seeped into her roots, that she was not white… but light…. And then abandoned.

Please touch my hair

Because you are just curious and haven’t considered that I might not know you well enough to get that close. That I might consider it creepy. That I’ve already said no. That it makes me feel violated and like less of a person. That you’ve invaded my personal space. As if you see me as a pet for you to stroke and pat. That I don’t know where your hands have been. My hair is an extension of my body. Why is it okay for you to touch me without my permission and feel that you have a right to? I’ve never felt that privilege. You can love something and not touch it. I’m not a toy, I’m a person.

Please touch my hair

But know that when you reach out your fingers and have the audacity to touch my hair
I will recite these words for your much too curious self

So please, touch my hair

About Bookmark Chronicles

Hi! I'm Rae. 26 Book Blogger. Booktuber. Gryffinclaw. Coffee & Tea Lover.
This entry was posted in Feminism. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to LINES: Please Touch My Hair

  1. inconfidence says:

    This is a totally amazing, awesome post. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carlalouise89 says:

    I love this post!! It’s perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: June Wrap Up! 2016 | bookmarkchronicles

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