Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Because I'm natural


Last week I was reminded that simply because I wear my hair in its natural state I have the weight of all black people on my shoulders. I’m supposed to be a Black Panther supporting, Angela Davis following, leading the trail back to Africa revolutionary type of woman. I’m only supposed to be attracted to skinny, dark-skinned dread rocking West Indian Rastafarian men with a free spirit to match my own. At night my house is suppose to be filled with burnt incense, Cali ganja and One Love by Bob Marley.

My girl asked me to go on what was not a date with her and this guy she has been seeing for a couple of months. His friend was in town for the weekend and they needed a fourth person for an impromptu night out. Enter the go to single girl friend Silent. I had no expectations for the evening, other than conversation and great food. (I only ask if you use my services that you at least feed me.) We ended up at this chic sushi restaurant downtown. The four of us found a table in a corner and continued the conversation that began in the car ride there. Apparently he had a birthday party the previous week but my girl brought another friend along instead of me.

Throughout our conversation, I took mental notes of several comments he made about my hair:

“You would have enjoyed yourself; there were a lot of neo-soul brothas there.” [I wish someone could have captured the look on my face. I didn’t hide my reaction. I was so disgusted but I just changed the subject for my girls sake.]

“Do you get a lot of comments on your hair?” [Yes I get a lot of IGNORANT comments on my hair and you’ve been adding to the list.]

At one point he said something about me being “urban,” which he said was combination of my hometown and my natural hair. [I wanted so badly to show him my real “urban” side but the restaurant was too quiet for such an outburst.]

By the end of the evening I walked away feeling utterly annoyed. I didn’t realize how much it bugged me until I was telling a friend about it the next day. Now I realize I have to laugh at the situation because I’m sure it won’t be my last aggravating stereotyping interaction. His narrow minded assumptions did nothing more than perpetuate the stereotype I have of people like him. He has such a small mind I’m sure he has the member to match.

Because I'm natural the only thing you can assume is that I am comfortable in my own skin, beautiful, confident and stand out. But hey this is all true when I straighten my hair as well.

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