I have yet to settle back in from my mini vacation BUT I just have to tell ya'll... My hair was THE hugest attention getter this weekend in Cape May, New Jersey. I'd just had a trim the day before at Fiddleheads in DC. (Pictures are littered throughout my rant- keep scrolling down!)
My BF is going to help me write a full post on the ridiculous amount of attention my hair garnered during our 3 day trip. I mean it was absurd. Mostly positive attention, but it began to get ridiculous as the 10th and 11th random people (all Caucasian) felt the need to tell me something about my hair.I get attention all the time- sure, positive attention, compliments and knowing smiles from other naturals in DC. I love that attention, and I often feel helpful and pretty when I can respond or feel truly complimented. But this attention had me beginning to wonder if I looked like a freak or some sort of mythological character. Some of it was negative (a car full of white teenage boys- one of whom yelled "AFRO!" out the window), and some of it I didn't even catch, but was informed of by my BF who had a better vantage point.
Granted, there were not many black folks, or even mixed folk there, but the environment was casual and comfy, and relaxed. I had perfect, vacation, wash-n-go, no-hassle hair- free to blow in the wind while staying off my neck and out of my eyes. I was very pleased with it myself. But even after almost 10 years of being natural, some experiences can shake you and lead you to wonder about how others perceive you. I mean I just wanted to enjoy my time off and float about with my man like any other vacationer. But I began to get the vibe that I looked veeeeery different, and was standing out amidst all the other women.And having different hair (naturally and "raw") leaves you open to socially permissible comments about what is essentially your race and ethnicity, not just styling.
I could not offer advice or any sort of styling cues for these commentators. These weren't conversations, or questions for the most part. It was just gawking and wonder, !amazement! even lol.
Which brings me to the title of my Blog. My BF's son asked me, "why do you care so much about hair" after seeing me taking pictures and chilling on twitter (talking about hair). I told him because I like mine a lot and people ask me a lot of questions about it. But really, even if I tried to just ignore it, and not even consider myself anything but a regular chick with regular hair, I'd be considered "natural," "different" or otherwise non-standard and the attention would come to me regardless. It's not just hair- it's a statement that other people hear whether you've said anything or not. The fact that I'm not doing anything to it makes people think "LOOK what she's DOING!"As frustrating as it can be at times, especially when I'm really trying to do NOTHING at all, I'll gladly help enlighten those ignorant to kinky-curly textured hair. I'll gladly offer tips and encouragement to women seeking to embrace their own hair. I'll gladly share what happens to me so that others in my situation know that they are not alone! And I hope that I can play a small part in a movement towards the general knowledge that hair is indeed just hair. And it's all good.