CNN Article: 'Can I Touch it?' The Fascination with natural African-American Hair

I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Once, I got on an elevator in a very rich, predominantly white area. After a few seconds of silence, the elderly lady in there with me suddenly reached out and tried to grabbed my hair. In shock and horror, I stepped back and shrieked. A look of surprise was evident on my face - on hers, was a look of what seemed to be digust."Sheesh!" she said. "I was ONLY trying to touch it."

I was not in any way offended my her interest in my hair. Of course she would be! Natural hair is beautiful and intriguing. What I did not like was her invasion of my personal space. Were her hands even clean?

I don't know what was most frightening about the whole experience: The fact that she reached out to touch my hair or her defense that she was 'only' trying to touch it, like she had some kind of rights.

How quickly her interest in my hair faded away though... Most awkward elevator ride of my life.
Originally Posted by MissAvie
Oh wow, I don't know if my reaction would've been anything remotely close to yours.
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I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
It's a boundary issue...the fact that folks feel like they can touch strangers, for any reason, without having permission to do so.

Yeah, I think our hair draws more attention, with an increased likelihood of some dimwit reaching out to touch, without an invitation or consent.
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I dunno, I actually don't mind other people touching my hair randomly, and it's happened to me a few times. I value my personal space as much as anyone, but I just don't see the big deal is about curious people touching my hair without asking. I realize the context of the OP is curiosity born from ignorance, racism, and/or prejudice, but the very few strangers who actually felt compelled to reach up and touch my hair without asking were really like a moth drawn to a flame. Trust me, I get worked up and defensive about a lot of things, but definitely not this. All that said, I'm a really touchy feel-y type of person in general, but I've lived long enough to know that other folks aren't, so I totally get the argument many of you have made that it's rude to infiltrate other people's personal bubbles. I'm really just saying, for me, it's not a big deal if a white person with straight hair and blue eyes, or any person for that matter, wants to get in on the curly/kinky/fro-action for a few seconds.
I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
In general, on the surface I think it is, though. I'm amazed at the number of people who lack home training and lack the basic manners to simply ASK permission before they attempt to invade your personal space. This isn't limited to just white people, it's across the board. People in general think manners are too unnatural or insincere or something, when in a lot of situations, they are necessary for civil relations and to avoid offending people. On a deeper tip, I have a white friend with naturally curly hair (albeit, more loosely curled than mine) and she's complained that some people try to touch her hair without her permission too. With her, though, she can attribute it to people just being curious, but many black women can't, because of our history of being enslaved and being marginalized.
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I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
It's a boundary issue...the fact that folks feel like they can touch strangers, for any reason, without having permission to do so.

Yeah, I think our hair draws more attention, with an increased likelihood of some dimwit reaching out to touch, without an invitation or consent.
Originally Posted by NEA
If it is in general only a boundary issue, why then not everyone with curly hair is subjected to this?

I don't know if a person with 2b hair has had a random person walk up to them and say "your hair is soooo curly *pat pat pat*" on their head...Let's face it, they are doing this to just a specific type of hair.


I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
It's a boundary issue...the fact that folks feel like they can touch strangers, for any reason, without having permission to do so.

Yeah, I think our hair draws more attention, with an increased likelihood of some dimwit reaching out to touch, without an invitation or consent.
Originally Posted by NEA
If it is in general only a boundary issue, why then not everyone with curly hair is subjected to this?

I don't know if a person with 2b hair has had a random person walk up to them and say "your hair is soooo curly *pat pat pat*" on their head...Let's face it, they are doing this to just a specific type of hair.
Originally Posted by coilynapp

Everybody can be subjected to random touching, for whatever reason...that's the point I'm making. It doesn't matter who's the object of the inappropriate behavior. In every case, it's an issue with a person not respecting boundaries. Now, there may be some other stuff with it, but that's the most important issue, in my opinion.

Some of the women commented that they get random "feelers', for having very long hair...straight.
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Last edited by NEA; 07-25-2011 at 02:49 PM.

It's a boundary issue...the fact that folks feel like they can touch strangers, for any reason, without having permission to do so.

Yeah, I think our hair draws more attention, with an increased likelihood of some dimwit reaching out to touch, without an invitation or consent.
Originally Posted by NEA
If it is in general only a boundary issue, why then not everyone with curly hair is subjected to this?

I don't know if a person with 2b hair has had a random person walk up to them and say "your hair is soooo curly *pat pat pat*" on their head...Let's face it, they are doing this to just a specific type of hair.
Originally Posted by coilynapp

Everybody can be subjected to random touching, for whatever reason...that's the point I'm making. It doesn't matter who's the object of the inappropriate behavior. In every case, it's an issue with a person not respecting boundaries. Now, there may be some other stuff with it, but that's the most important issue, in my opinion.

Some of the women commented that they get random "feelers', for having very long hair...straight.
Originally Posted by NEA
I get you now. NEA. I understandt that it is a general boundary issue with touching random people for any reason.

But with the kinky/super curly hair...something else is there on top of that.

All of it is just idiots being idiots...
If the article is referencing the Los Angelista story I think they are, I read that a while back. The white woman who wanted to touch her also stated something to the affect of she should be glad/grateful that she even wanted to touch her hair. Also said this in front of the woman's child. It was... too much. Here's the link

Personally, I don't like being touched by people I don't know. Its creeps me out in a way that I can't control. And I can't imagine a stranger reaching to my head to pet me. Its just a weird, unnecessary invasion of personal space.
Once, I got on an elevator in a very rich, predominantly white area. After a few seconds of silence, the elderly lady in there with me suddenly reached out and tried to grabbed my hair. In shock and horror, I stepped back and shrieked. A look of surprise was evident on my face - on hers, was a look of what seemed to be digust."Sheesh!" she said. "I was ONLY trying to touch it."


I was not in any way offended my her interest in my hair. Of course she would be! Natural hair is beautiful and intriguing. What I did not like was her invasion of my personal space. Were her hands even clean?

I don't know what was most frightening about the whole experience: The fact that she reached out to touch my hair or her defense that she was 'only' trying to touch it, like she had some kind of rights.

How quickly her interest in my hair faded away though... Most awkward elevator ride of my life.
Originally Posted by MissAvie
I was offended as HELL just READING this... you should have told her well why dont I just reach and touch your PURSE.. JEEZE.. why are you so pissed I was only going to touch it???

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I'm a touchy feely type but like many said before I was taught that being a "space invader" is rude and don't do it. People have always asked to touch my hair whether it was straight or curly. My family touches my hair constantly which I don't mind but I definitely don't tolerate the random person just reaching out and touching...they will draw back a nub.

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If someone asks to touch my hair, depending on my mood and the person asking, I would prolly let them. I don't see a problem unless They're fumbling in my hair trying to twist it around and what not. If they just want to rub it between they're fingers and get a feel of the texture, I don't see the problem.

But if they just stick their fingers in without asking, we got a whole 'nother situation.
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Last edited by MissAvie; 07-25-2011 at 03:38 PM.
If the article is referencing the Los Angelista story I think they are, I read that a while back. The white woman who wanted to touch her also stated something to the affect of she should be glad/grateful that she even wanted to touch her hair. Also said this in front of the woman's child. It was... too much. Here's the link

Personally, I don't like being touched by people I don't know. Its creeps me out in a way that I can't control. And I can't imagine a stranger reaching to my head to pet me. Its just a weird, unnecessary invasion of personal space.
Originally Posted by virago
Yeah, I read that too...and that really irks me, especially the commenter who wrote about the white guy grabbing her hair, and asking "Do you wash it?" Whut? Do you wash your hair?

Ugh!
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I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Exactly. I don't know a single black female, young or old, who thinks it's okay to go up to a white woman and grab their hair. And just like whites...there are PLENTY of blacks who have never seen black hair up close. Let's not make out like only black people can be exotic creatures. There are plenty of white free areas in the US where the little girls and and older women would be amazed to see long blonde hair out of its natural habitat. I dare you to find one that'll act entitled to the right to touch the white woman's hair.
I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Exactly. I don't know a single black female, young or old, who thinks it's okay to go up to a white woman and grab their hair. And just like whites...there are PLENTY of blacks who have never seen black hair up close. Let's not make out like only black people can be exotic creatures. There are plenty of white free areas in the US where the little girls and and older women would be amazed to see long blonde hair out of its natural habitat. I dare you to find one that'll act entitled to the right to touch the white woman's hair.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown

And that's exactly what I mean. It may be a boundary issue, but this entitlement thing is working on top of that when it comes to kinky/tightly curled hair. "I feel that it is ok (nay, my right) to touch your hair without permission because I can, and I don't care about what you think"...seriously?

Curiousity excuse is some BS. I'm curious about a snake's skin, that don't mean I'll be all up in there touching everywhich snake wherever I go...GTHOHWTBS
Once, I got on an elevator in a very rich, predominantly white area. After a few seconds of silence, the elderly lady in there with me suddenly reached out and tried to grabbed my hair. In shock and horror, I stepped back and shrieked. A look of surprise was evident on my face - on hers, was a look of what seemed to be digust."Sheesh!" she said. "I was ONLY trying to touch it."


I was not in any way offended my her interest in my hair. Of course she would be! Natural hair is beautiful and intriguing. What I did not like was her invasion of my personal space. Were her hands even clean?

I don't know what was most frightening about the whole experience: The fact that she reached out to touch my hair or her defense that she was 'only' trying to touch it, like she had some kind of rights.

How quickly her interest in my hair faded away though... Most awkward elevator ride of my life.
Originally Posted by MissAvie
I was offended as HELL just READING this... you should have told her well why dont I just reach and touch your PURSE.. JEEZE.. why are you so pissed I was only going to touch it???
Originally Posted by FabledBeauty

LOL! For real! I should have said that but I was just so shocked that the whole thing had actually happened. I couldn't even say a word.
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I agree that the slavery comments are a bit out there, but for me, personally, if you don't have permission, you don't get your paws in my hair. Period. The issue is that people don't understand what boundaries are these days and when they've been crossed. I'm not that prim and proper, so I wouldn't be down with returning to Victorian era mores, but re-establishing some respect for other people's personal space is in order.
Originally Posted by LadyV69

I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Exactly. I don't know a single black female, young or old, who thinks it's okay to go up to a white woman and grab their hair. And just like whites...there are PLENTY of blacks who have never seen black hair up close. Let's not make out like only black people can be exotic creatures. There are plenty of white free areas in the US where the little girls and and older women would be amazed to see long blonde hair out of its natural habitat. I dare you to find one that'll act entitled to the right to touch the white woman's hair.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown
I have to agree with this. I have never had a black woman or man, attempt to touch my hair without asking.
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I don't even think it's a boundary issue. Why does this not happen to people with non-kinky (or tightly curled) hair? If it was a boundary issue, everybody with curly hair would have the whole world up in their hair. But it's not. It's specific to a certain type of hair that only a certain segment (mostly) of the population have.

Sidenote! Urbanbella's hair is GORG
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Exactly. I don't know a single black female, young or old, who thinks it's okay to go up to a white woman and grab their hair. And just like whites...there are PLENTY of blacks who have never seen black hair up close. Let's not make out like only black people can be exotic creatures. There are plenty of white free areas in the US where the little girls and and older women would be amazed to see long blonde hair out of its natural habitat. I dare you to find one that'll act entitled to the right to touch the white woman's hair.
Originally Posted by AmberBrown

And that's exactly what I mean. It may be a boundary issue, but this entitlement thing is working on top of that when it comes to kinky/tightly curled hair. "I feel that it is ok (nay, my right) to touch your hair without permission because I can, and I don't care about what you think"...seriously?

Curiousity excuse is some BS. I'm curious about a snake's skin, that don't mean I'll be all up in there touching everywhich snake wherever I go...GTHOHWTBS
Originally Posted by coilynapp
Can you imagine the outrage/uproar/hoopla if black women did go around curiously touching white women on the heads? You know it wouldn't be called curiosity right? You or I would be facing assault charges in court ma'am

In fact, that's the true test right there. How to tell if the foreign hand in fro is innocent curiosity or brazen entitlement? Compare black/white reactions to the phenomena. Bet you the white woman just passes slam out when it happens. Or screams rape I'd say the black women let the fondlers off easy....
I don't walk up to people and touch their lips because they are smaller/thinner than mine. I don't walk up to people and touch their eyes because theirs are blue and mine are brown. I don't go up to people and touch their ass because theirs is flat and mine is not. I don't walk up to people and touch their skin because theirs is light and mine is not. I don't walk up to people and touch their hair because theirs is staright and mine is curly.

Keep your damn hands to your damn self.
Originally Posted by coilynapp
+10000
Originally Posted by pprMACHEheart
Yes, yes, and more yes. Don't touch me, my hair, nothing unless you are my SO...or unless I extend an invitation.

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