Monday, August 13, 2007

I like your hair...

In a similar vein, n'Drea, Meikmeika and I recently observed that we get more unqualified compliments from men than women. (See this post by n'Drea and comments.)

I find that men will approach me, tell me they like my hair and go on their merry way. Women will often stare from a distance and never attempt contact, not even if I look at them and smile.

What is with that?

Do you even have a theory?

I thought it was just me or maybe just my area, but apparently not. My consultant and I were talking about it at my last retite. Women will stare at our hair for an AWKWARDLY long period of time and NEVER say A WORD!

IMO that is more rude than most comments or questions they could come up with.

Even when I'm not sure what to say about someone's hair, but I'm curious, I know I can always say: I like your hair who does it?

That's totally non-offensive and usually works as a pretty good conversation-starter/ice-breaker. Even if I wouldn't wear the style myself and only have curiosity, it invites them to talk about it. Or they can politely decline.

How hard is that?


Naturally Sophia said...

I get weird comments with lots of staring. This guy referred to my hair as "thread braids" and apologized for staring without offering me a compliment.

At the mall, a teen told me she liked my hair, but immediately asked how long to take it out.

I think people are more curious than actually liking my hair.

Goodnapps said...

LOL - I would be tempted to pre-judge about this as well had I not been GUILTY of doing it when I saw a lady with Sisterlocks or so I believe since I never had the guts to ask and approach her.

I just assume they are fascinated, in awe, have questions or whatever
the case but are too timid, shy, afraid or whatever the case to ask me. That's how it was with me being in that situation.

Maybe they do know what they are but are not ready themselves and don't want a lecture to get them for themselves. Maybe they don't like them and you know the rule we were taught, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. There are so many reasons, we could speculate all day.

If I feel a stare, I generally make an attempt to smile and say hi. So if a person wants to say something, at least I've bridged the way to do so.

n'Drea said...

Hey, check out my "theory" in the comments to that post.

Ms Stella said...

I haven't received any compliments from men other than my husband. I do get stares though. I catch people staring at my hair a lot.

I've been approached by 2 women. One asked me who did my hair and if it was twisted the other asked if it was Sisterlocks. I passed by 2 women one time and I heard one say she wanted to get some locks.

I think most people are uncomfortable saying anything. I also think that most people in Arizona don't know what to make of make of hair.

SistaLocd said...

Well in my area people are known for being rude so I mostly get the long awkard stares. However I finally did get one compliment by a female which shocked me because she actually knew they where Sisterlocks. I'm usually the one that goes up to the other locked sister and give compliments however I usally get rude stares in return.

dreamangel75 said...

This is interesting observation. I agree staring is rude. I have not encountered women staring at my hair, yet. However, while I was visiting one of the Finger Lakes region's winery, I received my first outsider comment (non-SLs and family) from a man. And what made this first comment more interesting was he is caucasian. He said he loved my hair and thinks it is very beautiful. My husband was standing next to me when he made that comment. haha
:-) I was thinking, "Yes, finally my very first outsider compliment". :-)

Anonymous said...

I remember my friends and I were at Disney waiting in line to get on a ride, this Caucasian woman walked up to me and said "I just adore your hair" WHAT!!!!??? All I could do was stare in awe and say thanks.

Here's my observations:
-Caucasians usually compliment or look the other way, except for my co-workers (I remember one of them stated dreads look like birds nests and stink..WTF?!)
-Black males with low cuts or fades compliment
-Black men with locks pay me no mind or give me awkward stares (could this be b/c in their eyes they don't see my locks as "true" locks?)
-Black women with permed hair either stare for a while or just look the other way, 1 specific woman stated she could never go natural cause it just doesn't look right on black women (nice huh?)
-Black women with traditional locks are in between some have smiled but some have also given the same reaction as brothas with locks.
-Black women with Sisterlocks don't get a chance to stare or say anything cause I'm running up to them asking questions. Some have been blunt and rude while most have been very pleasant and excited over how many Sisterloced heads they've seen.

Well, that pretty much sums it up but I know I could be a bit paranoid so it's possible I'm mistaken...hehehehehehe! There are a lot of permed and traditional locked heads in my area.

Yall think I'm crazy?!

Anonymous said...

I think Meikmeika summed it up well. Except, when I was around caucasions at my old school, the teachers and students loved my hair. They wanted to touch it all the time and never said anything negative (not to my face anyway)...but I have the same responses from the other people.

cheleski68 said...

i'm with ya. i used to be more self conscious of it now i take it as a compliment because all the voices in my head were too much! so I just strut and nod-just depends.

Renea said...

I think people stare because they are trying to process. What is it? How does it make them feel? Would it be rude to ask her about her hair? How do you do that?
Most of the stare-ers don't intend to be rude. It's the ones that approach you like you're their personal petting zoo that throw me off. They come at you hands out, eyes focused on the top of your head...and instead of talking to you, they talk to your hair. Their first word is almost always "oooh" sometimes followed by "can I touch your hair?" which is ironic because by the time they say that you are already leaning back to avoid having them touch your

But I get a lot of compliments from women, especially when my hair is styled. And I've had some great conversations as a result.

Aya said...

I work around a lot of women of color. I have only been approached twice. The first one was all in my hair, asking all kinds of questions. She is contemplating getting sl's and is watching my progress. I liked her. The other asked me, offhandedly, if I did my hair myself. I tried not to laugh, not wanting to appear rude, and anwered her saying "no, I woulddn't have the patience to do this myself for ther are sisterlocks". I guess she thought they were twists or something else. I had one brotha' approach me while I was shopping. He was quite courteous and careful with his words. He said that he had seen sisterlocks before and was interested in getting brotherlocks. I told him about KINKS. He was grateful.

However, like many who have posted, most people just stare without comment. I think there is a curiosity, but people are afraid to approach me for whatever ther reason.