The first question of the Ask the Sacramento African American Issues Examiner series is, “why do Black women hate it when you touch their hair?” was proposed by Q. Martinez, a resident of Carmichael, CA
The way in which I, the Sacramento African American Issues Examiner, will answer this question should be thoroughly viewed as a possible reason why, “Black women hate it when you touch their hair.”
As all other articles, reflections, potential advisory or anything else one may read herein; Such answers are always potentially true while they also have potential to be false for some of the following reasons:
- The question in and of itself is a generalization that all women of that culture and/or skin color hate it when you touch their hair. Therefore, the answer may or may not apply.
- To assume that the answer I propose can be taken as the definite answer is immature. Any mature and healthy minded individual would always apply any theory as mere potential but never as law.
- It would probably take a total population survey of every Black woman on earth whereby each individual woman would be asked to answer this question. Thereafter, one may draw an inference based on data obtained and draw a conclusion.
Please keep in mind the preceding three variables when reading my response to this question of,
Why do Black women hate it when you touch their hair?
First, let us talk about perception; For the most part, human perception is based on what we may refer to as something social scientist call, the Normative Social Influence.
So, what is the Normative Social Influence and how does it apply to the question proposed in this article?
According to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition), both asked the question and answered stating, “why do we sometimes find ourselves conforming to the larger group! There are two basic reasons. First is our desire to be liked and accepted by the group, which is referred to as normative social influence.”
Usage of the DSM-V description does not infer that this is exactly why such women may “hate it when you touch their hair” but the potential for there to be some level of conformity imbedded in the negative response to someone, “touching their hair” is likely; Let us examine.
Amongst the numerous things that make people refer to other people as Black is the texture of the hair. Amongst all mammals on Earth, virtually no mammal shares the hair texture that Blacks and others may refer to as nappy.
From cats and dogs to horses and hens, no other mammal on Earth has hair texture that can be referred to as nappy. Given this fact, some argue that nappy hair is actually more evolutionary than hair that lacks curl/curvature such as the thick locked curls of nappy hair; Others argue within the defenses of beauty rather than evolution saying simply that nappy hair is unattractive and assert therefore that Black, or an association thereof, is also unattractive.
In the United States, a large majority of persons share the mindset that nappy hair is unattractive and at this level of reflection, one can infer how the desire to conform to that which is referred to as attractive.
Hence, the Normative Social Influence of wanting to feel beautiful not just in the eyes of some, but in the eyes of most could very easily be the reason why one might feel uneasy with someone, “touching their hair.” The disassociation to what is regarded as beautiful could quite possibly cause a high level of cognitive dissonance in the individual whereby they feel very stressed and confused because while they look in the mirror and like what they say, society may constantly push the opposite believe that hair like the hair Black women have naturally is not beautiful.
Cognitive dissonance on many levels can poison the self belief system. There are many Black women who will assert that they have, “good hair’ or “mixed hair” as a measure to disassociate from the heavy negative feedback commonly associated with Black hair. Such poisoning of the mind can easily result in low self-esteem, poor self image and a frustration with the reality thereof.
The reality is that beauty should be grounded in overall self acceptance first and thereafter, those who agree with someone else when it comes to ones own perception of their individualized beauty is only a compliment, not a definite or law simply because it supports that perception.
Thank you to Mr. Q. Martinez, for proposing the first question via the, Ask the Sacramento African American Issues Examiner series.
There is much more that can be elaborated upon in relation to this topic.
The questions that now arise out of the explanation given are or can be the following:
- Why does one feel a need to touch the hair of another?
- What is the big scare about nappy hair?
- Is nappy hair simply a resemblance/trademark of Blackness? If so, why do some see it as unattractive?
- Is nappy hair an attribute of evolution?