JCFriday Wrapping Circle
Imagine, hair. The elusive, coveted “good” hair. On some days and for some people, that is my hair. Or was. Or can be. But you should know by now –
Don’t. Touch. My. Hair.
For, I am my hair. My hair. A collection of memories tied together with thread bundled up in intricate knots, layers of life experiences and undulations.
In all its glory, my hair is reflective of my identity. Natural, braided, beaded, wrapped or straight there is mystery hidden in my hair. My kinks and twists hold secrets, and pain and joy; that is mine to reveal. An extension of my body and my SELF, on my dime and for sure, in the style that I choose.
My hair is POWER. A crown, a melody in the wind, my hair, IS.
All the embellishments sewn and woven onto my hair have a soul with independent integrity. Repurposed plastic bottle caps, Pony beads, pom poms, pink army men, sequence, floral garland, metallic thread. Their meaning, amplified as part of the hair and my shine. My shine and ‘joyful noise’ with my beaded braids, clanging when I turn my head.
My hair is not immune to lifes in opportune moments. Not to the weather, a flimsy umbrella, not even a shower cap. I have to be mindful of humidity and rain. Tackle frizz, knots, wear a silk cap, pin and part, dye, trim, and clip the dead ends. AND. Not to mention the searing pain of a flat iron, straightening comb and relaxer. My hairline, ears, and neck and aching lower back can attest.
My hair holds memories of being sent to the person who could ‘do my hair’. Tame it, quiet it down. Not unlike, me. The me in the world that held her tongue and had her hair hot combed until it did not offend so I could be “heard” in business meetings. All to “fit in” and make you feel comfortable.
Memories of Aunt Terry’s impatience with my inability to sit still on her sticky vinyl slip-covered couch while she braided and yanked my tender head into position still haunts me.
Yet, there is a freedom available to me now, when doing my hair. In the act of doing my hair, I become me and wear a crown. I accept my natural hair in all its glorious, voluminous, frizzy, curly, wavy, multiple textures. Even when my hairs does what it wants despite my efforts.
So, how does my personal space somehow include you? When the mean girls at school put gum in my hair, I was the one punished! So unfair. I don’t touch your hair, why do you touch mine without asking first. Exacting a stealth action at my most vulnerable place, my head. When you’ve tried to touch my hair without permission it seems you ask – how are we different? My question is – how are we the same?
Slow down. What is YOUR reasoning for touching. What questions what are you trying answer? Fascinated? Ask. Here, I have created a bridge on which to meet you.