I think it’s an understood and accepted fact that people send their representatives on the first few dates. There’s no need to unpack baggage, display your weird quirks or share your controversial opinions. This is the time to be authentic and still pleasant enough for someone to want to continue to be in your presence.
But there comes a time when you want to know the truth about a person: the spiritual truth, the emotional truth and for some people the physical truth.
Earlier this week, a curious man hopped on Twitter to ask about dating etiquette.
It’s an interesting question to me. Mostly because there are ton of ways to feel about based on whether you wear wigs, weaves, braids or other forms of extensions and the reason you wear them.
I’ll be honest, I do think at some point, the person you’re dating deserves to see what you look like naturally. I mean that in terms of no makeup, no augmented hair, etc. I always think about the Black woman who married a White man who had no idea that the sew ins she wore throughout their entire courtship did not grow from her scalp. When he came home one day and saw her hair strung up, drying throughout their apartment, he didn’t know what was happening. At this point he loved her so it didn’t present an issue. We’re so much more than our hair. So he didn’t marry her for that. She had a personality and soul to offer. Still, there’s something sad about her not feeling comfortable enough to show this side of herself to him.
So I get why a man wouldn’t want to wait until he’s married to see a woman’s hair. Still, on a first date or the first few dates, the question might rub more than a few of us the wrong way. And that’s an issue of patriarchy and men feeling entitled to view share their input on a woman’s physical appearance just by virtue of their gender. On the first several dates, before we really know each other a man has no right to make and demands or inquires about a woman’s hair or physical appearance as a whole. We’re not together. You don’t know me like that. And it’s extremely rude and presumptuous to feel that you’re privy to a look other than the one I’m giving you. We both liked what we saw after the first introduction, which is why we’re on this date in the first place. But the point of going on dates is to get to know each other on a deeper level to see if we can begin spending significant time with one another.
Ultimately, I’m saying you can ask this question. I’m one of those people who believes you can say almost anything as long as you do it properly. But as sensitive as so many Black women are about their hair (with good reason) you need to do so recognizing that it is risky. The timing and the wording has to be right in order not to have a woman walking out on your evening.
Ladies, what do you think about this? Would you be offended if a man asked to see your real hair? When and how should he do it?