Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Is your hair fake?

My Sunday look. "I turned the Wave into a pompadour the next day for a more conservative look"

What my grade 4 boys had to say* about the style.

John: How did she get her front hair to be that high?
Qin (My co-teacher): I don't know, ask her
Tony: It's because her hair is fake
Me: Is your hair fake?
Tony: No, it's not
Me: Mine too
Dana: My hair is not hair!
Whole Class: **bursts out in laughter**
* Whole conversation was in Chinese. Btw, I gave them all English names

I usually wear a full winter attire in my classroom including a hat, since it's so cold in my classrooms. So, most of my students haven't seen my "latest" hairstyle yet. But today's weather was a bit warmer, so I decided to ditch the hat this time. My students definitely had a lot to say about it. Last week, the same John thought my hairstyle looked like a bone (a rib cage), which makes sense, now that I think of it.

Hours later, on my way back home, a Chinese Man asked the Chinese woman sitting in front of me if my hair was fake. Usually, I would just sit there and pretend like I don't understand what they were saying. But since I felt like I attracted the "curiousity", I thought I should answer the man's question and save the poor woman the trouble.

The Chinese are very curious and are not shy to ask awkward questions such as "how old are you and how much do you make?". While some foreigners might think some of these questions are rude and racist, I think they are a result of ignorance (more on the cause of this ignorance future posts). The truth is, we are all ignorant about each other's culture. I mean so many people across the world thinks Africa is a country where it's citizens have no access to education, clean water and food. Also, we share the streets with Elephants and Lions.
I've had someone ask me if this style was real. Like Duh!

No matter how I wear my hair, whether it be in extensions, cornrows, braids, afro puffs, up-dos, twists or whatever, I still get these questions regardless;
1. Is your hair fake?
2. Did you do it yourself?
3. How did you style it?
4. Can I touch it? Which most times, they just touch it without asking.
4. And then the off topic questions... "Where are you from" and "How old are you"

Does this look fake to you?

I never could understand why people would ask me if my hair was fake, as if the originality of my hair is any of their business! I mean, no one in Canada ever asked me if my weave was fake, they just comment on my "new haircut" after I take my weave down. But, I suddenly got a "light bulb moment" on a bus ride home today.  I realized that the Chinese are still getting used to seeing people with different skin colour, shades, eye colour, hair colour and texture. So, for the Chinese who is wondering why I am not as dark as he would have thought, and why I claim to be Canadian, though i'm black; He now has to wrap his head around why my hair isn't as straight as his and why my hair is in that interesting hairstyle.
now, this is what I call fake!

While i've seen many chinese women with curly and wavy hairstyles, I would assume these styles would be classified fake, as Asians hair are not "naturally" curly or wavy. The only time my hair never attracted an audience was when I had a straight weave on, which then looked "natural"


ej said...

lol, did you find yourself in China by the way?

depuy hip recall class action said...

Wherever you are in a different place or let us say country, the people can't help it but ask the same questions that you wrote above for curiosity's sake. BTW love your hair, it defines the real you. :)

Anonymous said...

lol, guess i was curious

Anonymous said...

I agree, but some questions are just rude and inappropriate. Thanks for commenting.

Juju said...

Wow adeola!
this is really interesting.. you can always move to the Bahamas where natural hair is embrased lol

Natural Nigerian said...

I am curious - do they expect your hair to be straight?

Anonymous said...

and you forgot to mention it's warm all year round!

Anonymous said...

yes, because everybody's hair is straight. so mine should be as well.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha this was funny. What for they ask when you wear a weave thatsstraight?

Lishylikes said...

haha i love the afro the most so pretty! i wish i was brave enough to do that.