People’s eyes follow me as I walk in with curls flowing down from my head. I felt like a super star; there wasn’t a piece of hair of hair out of place, not one. My hair was perfect.
“Is that your real hair?” a pale blonde asked me as she smacked her gum.
“Um yeah,” I said shyly.
“Wasn’t your hair straight yesterday? It looked really long,” she said.
“It shrinks if-,” I tried to say.
“Can I touch it?” she asked cutting me off.
“Sure, I guess.”
She rubbed my hair roughly up and down and made it frizzy.
“Why is it so dry?” she asked, still touching my hair.
She was treating me like a museum exhibit. It was like I was some kind of unknown species that was new to this world.
More girls walked up and bombarded me with questions like, “Are you mixed?”, “What did you put I your hair to make it curly?”, “Do you wash it every day?”, “How do you weave your hair?”, “How do you get those wavy things in your hair?”
My confidence was starting to fade, my eyes were starting to water, and my cheeks were becoming hot. My once perfect hair was becoming frizzier and nappier by the second, as pale hands poked, prodded, and pulled at my hair.
As the day went on, the questions became more and more stupid, this time from people of color.
“Girl, were you get yo’ tracks from? They look natural.”, “Aren’t you a little young for a lace front?”, “What brand of hair is that?”
I went home with a headache, annoying questions still buzzing in my mind, and a face full of runny mascara.
“What’s wrong, Asia?” my mom asked me.
“Can I get a perm? I asked sniffling.
“Why?” she asked concerned.
“People at school ask me stupid questions about my hair.”
“You are worried about what people are saying to you. My mom asked shaking her head.” If you are always seeking people’s acceptance, you are not going to get anywhere in life,” she responded.
“But they ask me such stupid questions,” I said with irritation.
“Their parents probably didn’t teach them any better. It’s called being ignorant. What kind of questions did they ask anyway?”
“How do you make your hair curly like that?, Is that a lace front?, Do you wash it every day?, What brand of hair is that?,” I said in a mocking tone.
My mom’s face slowly started to turn red.
“Are you okay,” I asked alarmed.
She then started laughing hysterically.
I’m sorry,” she said through chuckles,” I was trying to hold it in. Asia, almost every black girl goes through this because supposedly we are supposed to be bald. They only ask if you are mixed because they don’t want you to be black. They want you to be mixed with white or Italian or something. We come in many different shades, from the lightest skin to the darkest ebony. Society thinks we are all supposed to be bald, dark, and ugly. So be proud of your curly hair, be proud of your melanin, and be proud of your origins and live your life,” she continued.
When my mother told me that, it was an eyeopener. Now I walk with confidence, like the queen I am. With my curls bouncing and not a piece of hair out of place. Answering any questions people throw at me about my perfect hair.