Views: DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR

SOLANGE

SolangeKnowlesVEVO

As I work through finals weeks trying my hardest to remain sane, I couldn’t help but find myself playing tracks from Solange’s A Seat at The Table in the background as I studied.

This album, released back in September of 2016, has just the right mix of soothing tempos, sensual grooves, and calming vocals to keep me relaxed during such a stressful time, but beyond its relaxing qualities is a deeper commentary to be understood.

It is an album for Black women that speaks to issues of race, womanhood and equality, as told though Solange’s personal truth. While there are many great songs on the album that address a variety of issues, I found myself recently drawn to the song “Don’t Touch My Hair.”


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


There honestly couldn’t be a more fitting song for what I see as the essence of Black Curl Power. “Don’t Touch My Hair” manages to touch upon so many issues in so few words, but for the sake of time and brevity, here are some of the main takeaways I get when listening to this anthem.

“Don’t Touch My Hair” illustrates the journey of self-acceptance and understanding we go through when learning to love our own hair and in essence, who we are as a person.

It’s hard to live in a society that favors Eurocentric beauty ideals and not question your attractiveness or feel out of place with a head full of curls and kinks.

And believe it or not – strangers touching your hair (ESPECIALLY without permission as if you belong in a petting zoo) is not okay! It is a form of microaggression and without a doubt undermines your personal space and privacy as human being.

But I think the biggest connection I made from Solange’s song is to be true to myself and not let society bully me into following the dominant culture. Black hair has always been subjected to control and restriction. We are told it’s not professional and that we should “tame” our hair to be accepted. We are brainwashed by the media that our texture is less desirable and needs to be “fixed.” Well it’s a lot harder to fall for that trap when you love your hair and embrace your identity as a strong Black woman.

 

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