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Dealing with Natural Hair Compliments

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let me start by saying I hate to use the phrase “white people”, however for the purposes of  this article I shall be using it as my identifier.

That said, followers of my blog would know I attended the 58th National Prayer Breakfast as well a student retreat immediately after. The diversity of the attendees was thin and primarily for the student retreat I have to point out that there were about four persons of color, two African males, one American male and then myself.

Thus we defined the term “minority”.

As the only black female in the arena it is needless to say I felt like an example.

Thus my hair which is close and dare to me came to the fore.

Honestly, I think questions about my hair were bound to happen and if they didn’t then that would mean that nobody opened their mouths to say what they were thinking, which in my opinion would be much worse.

Now to the hair compliment of the century.

“I like your hair.”

That says so much with so little.

Instantaneously, several thoughts go through my mind but one takes precedent over all the others, “what about my hair do you like?” this question is asked with both a cynical and a hopeful view point because hopefully the person is simply saying they find that my hair looks healthy or fits well with my face or style and not that they are saying they’ve never been exposed to it before and so to them, it is exotic in nature.

As far as comparisons go being called exotic typically may not seem to be a bad thing, however, my hair is not a freak of nature, it is not a one in a million occurence, for god sakes it occurs in millions of other cases!

So if you like my hair simply because it’s a novelty to you then I’m both sad and angry, amused and irritated.

I pity the person who lives in the United States of America and has limited to no exposure to people with my hair texture, after all this really is the United States of Immigrants. As well, it dismays me to think that the black people or ethnic people white people may have had chance to meet more than likely had straightened hair or weave or something else covering what is naturally theirs and thus some of this blame also falls on us as a people.

It is not my intention to attack anyone, certainly I hope that I have written about both sides of the coin.

As always I welcome any comments because I’m very interested to hear about your own personal experiences.

Still a compliment is a compliment and being gracious is  a gift so I must say,

I like my hair too thanks,

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One Comment leave one →
  1. loviedovie permalink
    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 11:45 AM

    I too have received comments on my hair by caucasians but they were never bad comments…though every bad comment that I have had, has come from a person of color. I don’t know why, but it seems no one has a problem with the naturality of “black hair” but blacks. I may be wrong and I know that’s an unfair generalization but in my experience I find that to be the case. Especially older african americans who insist that I can not succeed in a professional atmosphere with ” Don King” hair!

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