I do not know how many times we have to say the same thing, It is not OK to touch someones hair for any reason. Teyonah Parris recently had an encounter with an old man who found her hair rather ‘stimulating’. So much so that he objectified her in front of the people she was having dinner with.
Teyonah was so pissed she took to twitter to put the guy on blast and we were speechless:
I am telling you after reading this I wish a ‘person’ would put their hands in my hair and then act as if I should be thrilled that they are doing it.
This old man and his child actually thought Teyonah should be grateful that he was touching her which can be the attitude of many people who think this behavior is warranted and justified.
In 2013 there was a social experiment conducted in NY where a group of young ladies stood in the middle of Union Square and held signs up that said ‘Yes you can touch my hair’. We covered the story here on the blog.
The premise of the exhibit was to open up dialogue about natural hair because so many people were curious about what naturally grew from our heads.
My opinion then was oh heck no! I can appreciate a great social experiment but miss me with that one. Two years later my opinion is even worse than it was then.
If I was enchanted by your butt is it ok for me to touch it? The truth is when anyone wants to touch our hair out of curiosity because they have never seen anything like it before, typically it is because our hair does not fit their standard of what hair should look like.
On the flip side we have ‘normalized’ straight European hair for years and that has been the standard for everyone across the board. It is so normal that no one is interested in running around yanking straight hair in public for experimental purposes.
When you decide to break that mold and grow out your own natural hair, suddenly you become ‘interesting’ ‘eclectic’ weird even for all the wrong reasons. You become ‘objectified’ and ‘fetishized’ and by extension ‘demeaned’.
This sort of thing is never a compliment it never has and it never will be. We need to know the difference between someone who wants to genuinely compliment us on our hair and others who secretly think its weird. Know your worth and I am glad Teyonah read her objectifier for filth in that moment.