Yesterday, I had an ergonomic assessment done on my desk and chair. I suffer with lower back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome, so it’s becoming necessary for me to have my cubicle refigured to alleviate some of the pain.
So, the woman who does our assessments came to my desk and we talked for about 15 minutes. She told me about the configuration of my desk and chair and how those things could be making my physical issues even worse.
At the end of our chat she says to me: “Is that your real hair?”
I was taken aback – not very many white people ask me about my hair. Most comments are limited to: “Cool hair” and “I like your hair.”
She continued: “I hope you’re not offended… I saw that Chris Rock documentary…”
Dammit Chris Rock!
I have no problem with folks knowing some of the intricacies of Black hair, I really don’t. But when people start wondering and asking if I’m rocking a weave or a wig, I’m flabbergasted.
So, I said: “Yes, it’s mine.”
Then she started complimenting it. Yes, my twist-out did look extraordinarily hot yesterday. We spoke briefly about the movie and she said, “I wish I could do something like that with my hair.” She had chin length, straight blond hair.
I laughed quietly to myself and almost said, “We always think the grass is greener on the other side.”
As a child, the one thing I wanted was hair that blew in the wind or a ponytail that swished back and forth when I ran. I thought that a perm would have done that… it so didn’t. Now, all these years later, I’ve had – on more than one occasion – white women admiring my hair and saying something to the effect that they wish their hair was more versatile.
The grass really does look greener on the other side.
But Chris, next time you do a movie exposing the secrets of Black hair please hire hair counselors to speak with people at the end of the film so they can answer questions and not shock random Black women like me with questions about whether or not our hair is real.
My sister-in-law had a similar experience with someone bawling out that her hair wasn’t hers or something crazy like that. Talk like that could possibly get you a stiletto in your throat, for real. I ain’t condoning violence or anything, but #imjustsayin some folks aren’t going to take kindly to being called out if they’re rocking a lacefront or some Indian Remi.