9 Things I Really Meant to Say to the White Boy Who Thought it Was Okay to Shove his Hands in my Hair… At the bar after I politely said don’t do it.

1) Not sure why you haven’t learned this basic concept in life already. But, for your first lesson in acceptable human social behavior:
DON’T PUT YOUR HANDS IN MY HAIR!
I do not know you.
There is absolutely no reason why
I should feel
your grubby fingertips
on my
scalp!
Ever!
Don’t do it.

2) I get it.
My hair is amazing, yes I know.
You’ve never seen anything like it.
Perhaps you don’t have any Black friends back home
who could have warned you but-
Don’t touch a Black girl’s hair!
I am not your chia pet.
My hair is not some exotic creature
My body is not a petting zoo
For your personal perusal.
Paws off!

3) You just fucked up my curl pattern, man!
Do you know how much Miss Jessie’s Curly Merengue
I had to use to tame this ‘fro??
That stuff is not cheap!
NOT. OKAY.
How would you like it
If I came up to you
Out of nowhere and
Ruffled all that bleach blonde goo
You call hair and shook your head uncontrollably?

4) In what world is it ever acceptable
To touch strangers
Without their admission?
Is there some particular reason
You felt welcome to invade my section of the bar
With your neocolonialist exploration
And lay your hands on my person?!?!?
I am not your property.
Stop looking like I kicked your kitten
When I told you don’t touch my hair.
You don’t have the right to grope me!

5) If you truly have questions about Black hair
And its care
There’s this amazing new fangled device called
The Internet
Look it up.

6) Real talk,
Why is it always white people
Who feel so privileged to reach right on in?
Who taught you that our
Bodies were yours
For the touching
For the taking
Who taught you that
Consent does not matter?
I don’t care HOW curious you are
Your primitive interest
In a cultural exploration of “other”
Does not trump my discomfort

7) While we’re at it
When was the last time
You walked up to a white woman
And fondled her hair?
What makes you feel so entitled
To violate MY personal space?
I was trying to be nice but,

8) Fuck I look like?
Hottentot Venus? Saartjie Baartman?
This is not some 1800’s exhibition
I am not on display.
Further
I don’t know you like that!
I’m sitting here like everyone else
Trying to enjoy my lemon drop martini
Which I was *peacefully* doing before you came along
And shoved your hands deep inside me
That’s creepy dude

9) Did you forget that it’s the 21st Century?
I don’t owe you an explanation.
My body, my hair, my space
Period.
Unless I explicitly give you permission.

For the last time dude,
Look but
Don’t
Touch.

Original Poem Written by:
Yazmin Monet Watkins
(Actor, Poet, Activist and Curator of Cool Contributor
This Poem is apart of our ongoing Curator of Cool Series)
Wardrobe Style by VicStyles