"Don't touch my hair
When it's the feelings I wear
Don't touch my soul
When it's the rhythm I know
Don't touch my crown
They say the vision I've found
Don't touch what's there
When it's the feelings I wear"
When singer Solange Knowles dropped the song, “Don’t Touch My Hair” in 2016, Black women around the world let out a resounding YASSSS!
Finally, there was a song directly addressing the phenomena that black women face every day of people touching their hair without permission.
When wearing our hair in its natural state, Women of Color have many tales of how our hair often elicit stares, comments and the occasional stranger who desires to touch it.
Some people might say so what? So what if someone touches your hair?
1. It’s offensive.
2. Black women are not animals.
3. You are not at a petting zoo.
Black women are not petting zoos!!!! Our hair looks amazing because it is amazing but don't touch. You look and admire it but don't touch— latika (@laikamy) June 4, 2017
And that is exactly why Momo Pixel designed a video game called ‘Hair Nah.’
Pixel designed the game after she was tired of people making unwanted touches of her hair.
It's a conversation that keeps happening, although black women have repeatedly said, “Don’t touch my hair,” Pixel told CNN.
In 'Hair Nah' players help a character named Aeva fend off a swarm of unwanted touching. You can even craft your own black woman avatar, choosing the skin color and hair style of several hairstyles braids, Bantu knots, afros and dreadlocks. Then, as the white hands appear, you start swatting, and keep swatting, until you fill up the "Nah!" meter.
Black women and their hair is a very touchy subject :
In October, Solange called out Evening Standard magazine for photoshopping out her braids on the cover of their magazine.
The magazine eventually released a statement on its website apologizing to Soloange.
“The decision to amend the photograph was taken for layout purposes but plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange,” the statement read.
Earlier this month actress Lupita Nyong’o also had issues with the way Grazia UK magazine photoshopped her hair.
In a statement on Instagram Nyong'o said, "I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like. Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women's complexion, hair style and texture. #dtmh"
So the next time you find your self wanting to touch a black woman's hair just remember the words Hair Nah...
"The game is over but this experience isn't. This is an issue that black women face daily. So a note to those who do it STOP THAT SHIT."