Thursday, June 21, 2012

Touching My Child's Hair...

is like me touching your freshly done manicure.   I will probably ding your polish in some way...making it less than ideal, even pointless.   You took time to get that manicure.  It took money.  It took effort on someone's part.  It looks nice.  But despite all these things, I feel entitled to touch your nails.   How does that make you feel?

Touching my daughter's hair is inappropriate and uncool for the following reasons:

1:  You don't have permission to touch her.  

2:  She's not a pet.

3:  It took me a LONG time to do her hair and your hands mess it up.

4:  Touching African American hair can damage it.

5:  It's annoying.

6:  It's invading her personal space.  And yes, a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old are real people, even if they are small and young.

7:  It's weird. 

8:  It's unnecessary.

9:  I don't know where your hands have been.

10: My girls don't exist to satisfy your curiosity about black hair.

I've always thought, so it's ok to randomly touch people?!  A pregnant woman's stomach, for example?   A disabled person's wheelchair?   What's an ok and not-ok touch?  

Is it ok if you rub my child's head if I just reach out and rub your boob?  Your butt?   Your neck? 








    Read this post yesterday- as a mom who is getting ready to adopt transracially (due date Aug 22nd!!) it made me think about hair touching- when I never had before. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. Next time they do it just reach out and rub a boob! Then explain that you were just participating in Touching Random People Day like they are!

  3. Amen.

    One of the most annoying things ever.

  4. Yep, I hear you and I totally agree. Thanks, it helps me to believe my feelings are valid for my 7 yr old Ethiopian sweetie.

  5. I think you are way too sensitive about this. People touch my kids' hair all the time, just as they do their cousins'. (Which represents a mixture of races/hair types.)

    1. Some people don't like being touched, period...And I'm one of them. If I spend time getting my hair right, then all day I have people touching or asking to touch my hair. I have never asked to touch someone's hair. It's rude and invasive.

  6. I think it depends on who it is. I have to admit that I touch children's heads often. As I pass a child I know (a friend's daughter, a niece or nephew, etc) I reach out and caress the back of their head as I smile at them. I know when someone pats my children in the head out of love. That does not bother me. By the same token I completely understand the time it takes to do hair, the transfer of dirt and oil, etc. And I can educate my friends and family about why touching my children's hair is not the most beneficial touch for them. But I don't assume they are doing it for the wrong reasons like 1, 2, 6, 8 and 10 imply.

    If a stranger at Walmart touches their hair in a curious manner, that's a different story. You can tell a loving touch from a curious touch by the who, the where, the when, and the why.

  7. THANK YOU! It's weird. Black people don't walk up and touch each others heads! It's creepy. Since we moved to NM I am amazed at just how many feel completely comfortable reaching for my head. Now they want to stick their hands in my children heads too. Please keep spreading the word. I can't thank you enough.


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