During a post-Grammy interview with the Associated Press, overnight sensation Justin Bieber performed the ultimate Black-girl no-no when he reached out to pat Esperanza Spalding’s ‘fro. Black women across America went into an uproar…Over hair?
Understandably, women who pay a great deal of money (regardless of whether or not it fits into the budget) to maintain their tresses are inclined to preserve a fresh ‘do for as long as possible. But, it shouldn’t be the end of the world if someone dares to touch it during casual conversation (or yank it a little during you know what). It is not that important; and, certainly not serious enough to throw a tantrum. It’s just hair.
Natural Black hair is not the norm anywhere outside of Africa. Inherently, people are curious. Let us not be so sensitive. We are too easily offended. I’d rather someone ask me about my hair than make assumptions out of ignorance. If that means copping a feel before or while asking, so be it. Relieve them of the burden of bewilderment. Not everyone has malicious intentions. Ignorance can be innocent.
Droning about such trivial nonsense is childish and unattractive. Do we not have better things to discuss? Or at least something more substantial to complain about? Instead of getting upset, why not strive to popularize Black hair in its natural state? Then, coiled locks may not be so mesmerizing and we could get past the unsolicited doggy pats.
To whoop and holler over something as superficial as hair is beyond petty—weave, relaxer, texturizer, press and curl, whatever. We forgot all too quickly about India Arie’s anthem “I Am Not My Hair.” The strands on our heads are not what make us. So much was missed from Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair. It is a decoration that won’t keep you warm at night or go out for drinks after work. Overblowing its seriousness only fuels the drama queen stereotype.
Nonetheless, I’ll be accepting submissions for Black Girl No-Nos: The Dos and Don’ts of Interacting with Black Women, because no one deserves the wrath that comes from being in the dark. Justin Bieber gets copy number one.