The other day I was out to lunch with a few of my caucasian coworkers when out of nowhere this woman walks up to me and asks if she could talk to me privately for a second.
I was a tad bit taken aback because she came towards me so abruptly, and not to mention it was totally awkward. My coworkers and I gave each other sideways quizzical glances before I agreed to step to the side and talk to her.
However, all she asked me was who did my sew in because it looked bomb! I was slightly confused, so I asked her if she was serious. At first, I thought this was some kind of joke, because, after the way she made such a scene, I thought she was about to tell me she saw my man cheating on me or something.
Either way, she was serious. I ended up telling her that it wasn’t a sew in and that it was a high-quality lace front wig*, and then gave her all the information on how and where she could order one.
I walked back to my table with my work friends, and they all asked me what was up…. I lied and told them that she thought she knew me but had the wrong person.
Wow. I mean, I don’t even think I thought before the lie blurted out of my mouth, but it was evident that either projection had occurred, or did I too think it was taboo to talk about black hair in front of white people.
I got home that evening and immediately took the topic to my group chat. I mean, I really couldn’t believe what had happened, and especially how I reacted.
Like good friends do, they all agreed that they too would have probably reacted the same way when it came to reporting back to their coworkers. I mean we’ve all had those awkward unwanted “can I touch your hair” or “so how does your hair curl like that” conversations.
I will say, though, that if I could do it all again, I would have been upfront with my coworkers. I think hiding the discussion black hair or tip-toeing around it just perpetuates the problem, and doesn’t solve it.
Jamila Wilburn says
I don’t like to because I can’t stand explaining my hair like its some foreign object
Dee-Lila Sharp says
I’m Vietnamese and Afro American. My hair is my thing. I find it hard to discuss my hair issues with white women. They just don’t get it. Or they ask really stupid questions about my hair; and won’t shut up.