So, the unthinkable has finally happened to me. Wherever I go people seem to love digging their hands into my fro. Sigh…why I thought I would remain immune to it is just as insanely ridiculous to you as it is to me. Deep down I knew it would happen at some point, however it’s the rate at which it’s been happening that I never anticipated. I suppose the thing that made me assume it wouldn’t happen was because for some reason no one seemed interested in touching my hair when it was shorter, now that my hair is longer more and more people seem to feel it’s okay to just get in there. Like, stahp…!
Look, I generally have never had a problem with people touching my hair if they ask beforehand or if it’s out of a genuine curiosity as to how my hair feels, and even if someone does ask, I shouldn’t feel obligated to say yes just, well, because they asked. However, this constant Other-Hands-In-Hair Syndrome without consent is something I find to be a no-no. I don’t get the fascination, it’s just hair.
The thing I’ve come to realise as a result is that common sense is not so common and few people seem to care about honouring boundaries. During my studies I had to learn about proxemics – the study of how people use personal space in their everyday lives to communicate, it’s a non-verbal form of communication which includes touch and body movement amongst other things. These two – touch and body movement – and how you go about making use of them affects others in more ways than you can imagine, though they are not spoken words or words read on a page they still communicate something and speak louder than anything you can ever think of spurting out.
Although proxemics varies from culture to culture and person to person, the current understanding of rights and responsibilities, as far as I know, is that the right to swing my arms in any direction ends where your nose begins…any further than that and I’d be invading your personal space – a personal space which is sacred, a personal space which allows you to choose who may or may not step in.
Previously I would console myself by thinking that since my weekly wash day falls on a Monday, all people were doing is touching dirty hair since I only wear my hair out over the weekends. But truth is when you put time and effort into a style you really want to rock, thing is you want it to stay a certain way for as long as you can enjoy it. For me it’s gotten to a point where I can’t just let anyone treat my hair as though it’s an intriguing fine art piece lodged in a museum and I’ve had to find my voice where that is concerned and be adamant about it. So we’re cool and everything, but unless you ask, no…you can’t touch the fro.