Would I go far as to say that these individuals have more respect for women with natural hair? Hell no. Ignore their nice comment on purpose or on accident in front of their friends and the same nice guy can still find a reason to call you a Itchbay with the quickness. If you ask me, I think a lot of black men have come to the conclusion that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory a lot of the time, and in their mind, thinking you’re seeking some sort of validation from wearing your hair in its original state, they compliment it. This way of “hollering” is done because it’s not the usual mess you don’t want to hear, and they think it won’t get them dissed or ignored. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, it’s either annoying or creepy.
At a festival early in the summer with one of my friends currently growing her locks, a guy called her by that everytime we saw him: “Yo locks,” “Hey locks.” He thought it was too cute. One man sitting across from me on the subway, who, may I add, looked like he could have been my father’s age, said “Your hair, I really like that.” His smile was so wide it kind of freaked me out. Young men call me “fro” on the street sometimes (“Slow down ‘fro”), one even told me he thought I was beautiful because it “takes a lot of confidence” to wear my hair as I do.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get pissed or bothered by it at all, but it’s also kind of sad to think that making mention of my hair is the best thing a guy can come up with, especially now that everybody’s doing it. Of course I love my hair, so I’m going to say thank you (If I hear you outside of my iPod headphones), but uh, what else you got? And please don’t say, “I want to get to know you better.” Why? Because, I don’t know you at all! Sure, I’ve noticed men try to come at you a little nicer when you have twists, a fro, locks, big curly hair, etc. Could it possibly be because they’re stereotyping you as militant because of your hair and think mentioning how awesome it is will soften you up? Or what if they really love it? Who knows!? I can’t lie, aiming for the hair I spent an hour twisting last night to get my attention isn’t a bad idea, because who doesn’t appreciate tasteful compliments?
Whether I’m at festivals (“I like that hair!”), or simply going to grab some quick Chinese food in Brooklyn (“Nice fro sistah”), it’s nice to feel a little less ogled and instead, have someone show me some love all the way up top. But don’t get it twisted, still doesn’t mean I’m interested. ESPECIALLY if you said you liked my hair while standing on that same sidewalk I saw you standing on when I was on my way to work in the morning…Get some business!