Thursday, August 27, 2009

There's a girl at my work that feels the need to tell me almost every time she sees me that I need to comb my hair. To be entirely honest...and incredibly blunt, it fuckin' pisses me right off. At times, a friend of hers that works with us as well will feel the need to chime-in in agreement, which makes me feel even more murderous. I've explained to them both that combing my hair the way they think it needs to be combed is essentially like giving myself a haircut, and that it's not going to cause my hair to behave as they would like. The one tried to argue that if I combed it every day, it would get better, but I firmly silenced this nonsense by briefly explaining the science of black hair. Not that I feel I had to, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that my lively kinky-coils are different from their dead-weighted silken locks, but some people are just ignorant.

While the one was silenced by explanation, the other was not. What get's me about this girl is she was one of the few who supported my decision to cut off all my hair in the first place! I guess it grew in too kinky for her liking. The funny thing is, this bitch ain't even white, so how dare she subject me to beauty standards that she herself will never measure up to! Finally, a few days ago I lost my damn cool, and embarrassed her in front of enough people that hopefully a long lasting impact will have been made:

"Leave my fucking hair alone! Its not your fucking hair, its my fucking hair, and you may not like it, but I fucking love it, so SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!"

Silence. Laughter from my other co-workers happy I finally told this girl to shut up (she was being generally obnoxious that day) and amused by the obscene number of times I had used the word "fuck". Than someone asking, "Are you being serious?"

"Yes. I am being serious."

Maybe it was harsh, but why the hell am I having to defend the way I wear my hair to anybody? Especially to someone I work with, it just seems rather ridiculous does it not? Ridiculous, but not surprising.

I knew by cutting my hair and wearing it natural that I was doing something very radical from the start. A black woman's hair can never just be her own, everyone feels that they have some say in how it should look. I've known from a young age to expect unwanted criticism of my hair, and have it dictated to me by people who had no business doing so on how I should style it.

But enough is enough. My hair is mine, my hair is beautiful, and I will wear it how I want to, with pride, and simply not give a damn what anyone thinks any more.

Today I was riding the bus, and this black girl kept sneaking peeks at me when she thought I couldn't see her. I saw her. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her. She may have been thinking "how dare that bitch wear her hair like that and act like she's somebody" or maybe she was thinking "huh...natural hair can look good." Judging by the expression she wore, I'm betting it was a bit of both. No matter which it was, my hair got her thinking. Did you know, natural hair is contagious?




Hair inspiration found at my new fav spot to stalk: lecoil

Right now I'm listening to:


JenPB said...

I have NEVER understood why people have to mess with Black women's hair! OK, I'm white. I confess. I have fairly straight, unimpressive, long hair. It won't keep a curl for more than the 10 minutes it takes me to get out to the car and hit the first stop light. So what? I've had my head shaved, hair permed, hair short, hair long, hair braided, hair filthy and hair so shiny from chlorine it looked almost green. We may have short hair, long hair, kinky hair or frizzy hair, white hair or black hair or purple hair. But, you're ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! IT'S OUR FRIGGIN' HAIR!

When I was growing up, the Black girls were straightening their hair - spending HOURS on it to make it fit someone else's idea of the RIGHT thing to do. WHAT a waste of time, but more importantly, how degrading to expect something so unnatural.

Let it grow, braid it, shave it and love it. It's your hair! Wear it proudly! (I'm proud of you - and good for you for stating it plain and clear to those women at work!)

BLACKkittenROAR said...

Thank you! A woman's hair is her crowning glory, it is hers, and nobody else's. I'm glad that you understand that!

blackinalberta said...

Good for you. Sometimes it comes down to that and your hair is YOUR OWN.

I think your natural suits you. It brings out your features, exudes confidence and comfort in your own skin.

As a natural hair wearer myself I can bet that you are getting more attention and more respectful attention than ever.

The girl on the bus was probably looking at you with admiration thinking "I wish I could do that". It's kind of messed up when many black woman don't have the courage to wear their hair in its natural state.

BLACKkittenROAR said...

Thank you! I love my hair, regardless of what anyone has to say about it.
The fact that it takes courage in order for a black woman to wear her natural hair just shows how incredibly destructive society behaves towards her. It shouldn't take courage to just be who you are. That doesn't make sense.
I don't understand this phobia some have of kinks, or why anyone would get so bent out of shape that they felt the need to chastise another person for them displaying their kinks with pride.
It's really nobodies business, lol!

Renee said...

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to tell white people to lay off my hair. They treat it like some freaky science experiment and make judgments based in their own hair. It is always about centering them and standardizing them as the beauty example. I say enough of that shit.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that, I personally wouldn't have been as patient as you are. I'm glad you stood up for yourself and your hair. If that girl bugs you again, just tell me where to find her.

Katherine said...

I'm only just getting to grips with the amount of hassle black women get with their hair (white woman with straight, brown hair here, btw), and this post is fantastic and fantastically interesting.

NinaG said...

I'm so glad you snapped on her!

BLACKkittenROAR said...

Ah! thanks everyone! Its nice to know that truly genuine people exist!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe anyone would feel it was any of their business how you wear your hair (as long as you keep it clean and they're not your boss -- hygiene is a different issue).

I'd never realized that wearing black hair natural could be a problem. I grew up in the 60s and 70s when that seemed to be the norm, and I always thought it looked beautiful.

Wear your hair however you're comfortable with it, and know that you look great! :)

Anonymous said...

You are awesome! I'm going through the same exact thing. I love my short hair. There is no side-ways glare or disappointed stare that could ever over-ride the freedom I feel when I look in the mirror. I know that I had the courage to love myself and my hair in its natural form... ENTIRELY! A dream that I made come true... for myself and by myself. No greater feeling! ;-)

Keep fighting the good fight!

BLACKkittenROAR said...

Well said! This hair is freedom, and this hair is love...self-love feels fantastic!

snobographer said...

Anonymous: "I grew up in the 60s and 70s when [natural black hair] seemed to be the norm, and I always thought it looked beautiful."

Yeah I was a kid in the 70s when natural was in. I always thought it looked cool. I seem to remember natural hair being more accepted on black males though than on black girls and black women. I'm a white woman though, and grew up in predominantly white and hispanic neighborhoods, so obviously I didn't see everything, but I remember more men and boys in afros and women and girls with those relaxed little flips.
Anyway, isn't it harassment for a coworker to pester you about your appearance? Unless you have "f--k you" shaved into your head it's nobody's business how you wear your hair. If a supervisor or manager ever caught her bothering you about this, they probably should have intervened.

BLACKkittenROAR said...

LOL, actually she did in front of a supervisor but before anybody had a chance to say anything I lost it on her. I'm sure they figured my losing it on her was enough of a warning to not dare do it again.

Anonymous said...

Who is the model holding the cat?

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