I was in the nail salon the other night and the technician, asked me, "Is that your real hair?" I replied, "yes".
She said is it naturally curly like that, and I replied "yes". Then the mother of all offensive questions came next, "do you mind if I touch it". Then she said, "it's very soft and pretty" and proceeded to talk in another language to the other technicians. Whoooosah.
But after sitting there for the next 30-45 minutes trying to rationalize what had just taken place, I started to think about all of the stereotypes that people (not just other nationalities) believe about black hair. In my example, the technician addressed three common stereotypes that most people believe about black hair. (1) We all wear weave (2) Our hair is hard and (3) Our hair is not naturally curly.
I know you guys are wondering what I did or said to her. Trust me I wanted to lay into her, but I kept my calm and answered every question politely. I even allowed her to touch my hair. See, I've decided to no longer take offense to every ignorant question or stereotype but rather use those moments a time to enlighten.
What are some of the stereotypes have you come across? Please share...