There is a movement going on across college campuses that was sparked by one exhibit done in 2013 when women freely allowed people to touch their hair. This new movement of lowering public curiosity about natural hair has mixed reviews about it.
– Can I Touch Your Hair?
Although seen as a simple question asked out of curiosity, some find it very offensive. The exhibit was started as a way to get people talking about natural hair and how it’s really no different from regular hair.
The people that find the question offensive stated that they are not animals in a zoo, so no their hair cannot be petted. Now there is some truth in this statement. For example, if someone approached me in a setting that wasn’t appropriate (my job, school, etc…), I’d politely say “Not at this moment, maybe later.”
Now I have been in a position where I felt “obligated or trapped” into someone touching my hair. My 11th grade year in highschool, when I big chopped my hair, it seemed as if EVERYONE wanted to touch my hair. I was shocked that the majority of people wanting to touch my hair were African – American or Hispanic – people of color. When I realized that there was a pattern among the types of people that wanted to touch my hair, I immediately knew that it was a problem that I was the first person they’d seen wearing their natural hair. Now, I, a college freshman at an HBCU, still experience people walking up to me asking to touch my hair. I don’t mind when people ask me about my hair regimen because I have no secrets to what I use in my hair – and it feels so amazing walking on my college campus seeing so many women and men wearing their natural hair. It really feels amazing.
In the media, little girls are being sent home for “unruly hair” and people are being fired for wearing protective styles (corn rows, etc.) and that is why “YES, YOU CAN TOUCH MY HAIR” is important. To stop public criticism, denounce stereotypes about black hair, or to convince people to go natural/ help them find their ideal regimen… for some people they HAVE to touch your hair and it’s as simple as that. I personally wouldn’t get offended, but as humans we do have the right to allow people to touch our hair or to deny them that option.
Here’s a link to 2 videos displaying the public exhibit:
What are your thoughts about their exhibit? Has someone ever walked up to you and asked to touch your hair? Comment below and tell us your story!