I am not a petting zoo

So I need to vent,

I don’t know if the title subtly reflects the theme of the blog but let me explain. So a few months ago, specifically late December, 2015 I decided to be completely natural with my hair. That is, not using chemical relaxers or texturisers in favour of keeping the hair in its natural state. Of course, as a naturalista you are allowed to use hair products to soften, detangle and define your natural curls. And my decision to become natural wasn’t a fashion trend or a statement but finally accepting my whole self. Embracing my blackness. Acknowledge my God given features that define me. Anyway that aside.

Since then I have been enlightened like I mentioned in my previous blogs. Your hair really does define you. What I mean by that is, people stare at me differently nowadays. Being stared at is not something new to me but the noticeable change is how people stare at me when my hair is in its natural state. Some with curiosity, awe or admiration but some with this sense of uneasiness, almost as if to infer that there is a correlation between my hair in it’s natural state and their comfortability. Anyway, off on another tangent but I did say I am having a rant. Despite the different hairstyles I wore I endured some form of criticism. So a few incidences that stood out to me as demonstrated by the following pictures of the hairstyles I wore accompanied by statements made by real people were:

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 3.48.42 PM

That is just a taste of some of the comments I get on a daily basis and sometimes from the same people. I admit, some of my responses to those comments have been hostile. For example, I remember at a club, a few people had asked to touch my hair. My standard response became “you can touch it if I get to slap you.” Generally, I’m a sweet person but at that point I had had enough and one too many alcoholic beverages so you can only imagine my annoyance.

Anyway, my point is:

1. I am not a petting zoo

2. My hair is not an object of your fascination and constant ignorant questions

3. I am not open to anyone touching my hair unless I invite you to

Why, correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t see anyone asking a person with silky straight hair if they can feel their hair. My suggestion is if you have a naturally curious mind then quench that thirst by going on the internet to educate yourself on this subject matter. We live in a digital age where people like myself are willing to discuss these issues openly. Ignorance is not an excuse in the 21st century.

Love,

Zimgirl

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14 thoughts on “I am not a petting zoo

  1. You just hit the nail on the head, and for someone that has dread, I’m pretty much familiar with it everyday of my life. The worst is when I get compared to a player or an artist because of my hair style!!!

    This is such a good read…please continue writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I can only imagine. I’ve had a few but very very insulting comparisons and I’m like how do you as a human being with fully capable brain formulate this kind of thinking. But glad you enjoy my writing 😀

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  2. Omg girll. I know how you feel. Even though you didn’t mention it in your blog, a lot of those ignorant questions or comments come from Caucasians. No offense but its true. What i like about your writing is that its based on everyday experiences that we can relate to (I’m African American).

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    1. Though I didn’t mention it, you are right. A lot of these comments were coming from Caucasians but not limited to them as such. I think every other race or any individual without this kind of hair texture has a hard time understanding or accepting afro hair

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  3. Thank you for finally doing this post. My response is always laugh or smile uncomfortably. But I’d be dying inside, the can I touch your hair or the ones that just go for it just freaking annoy me. And then like you pointed out, the ones that ‘prefer’ you with long hair or whatever style that suits them. Honestly, your blog gives me confidence to voice my displeasure. Thank you

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  4. Good read😃 I personally went natural almost a year ago, and the negative feedback even from African friends has made me more determined to grow my hair naturally and flaunt it whether they like it or not.

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    1. I love your resilience. You raised a critical point that we naturalistas face. Sometimes its the people close to us that negate our natural journey. I went through a period where people were telling me I made a mistake or that I looked dishevelled with my hair in its natural state. YouTube videos and other peoples blogs saved me and helped me be resilient.

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  5. Hi. I’d been natural for a little over 2years now. I’m so glad to have stumbled across your blog. I can totally relate. I had a similar experience with a stranger a couple months ago. They asked if they could touch my hair and I firmly said no. They seemed offended by my answer as if I owed it to them. I then continued on to say “I’m a human being, not a petting zoo. I’m not here for your amusement”. After that they apologised. It’s so frustrating having to deal with that. P.s. So good to find some natural hair girls in Australia ❤

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