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White Mother’s Opinion on Touching Daughter’s Natural Hair

Avatar • Sep 18, 2011

This article is re-posted from ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com. We’ve discussed the issue of “hair touching” before, but it’s great to hear a unique point of view. 

Dear People Who Have, or May, Come Into Contact with My Daughter,

Thank you so much for your interest in my daughter’s hair. Yes, it is beautiful, we both appreciate your compliments. Yes, she’s very patient and has no problem sitting to have her hair done. She’s been getting her hair done since she was very small and knows of nothing else; her hair regime is a fact of life and she doesn’t see it as the burden that you do. Nor do I.

While asking me about my daughter’s hair, please do not start touching it. Just because I am a vanilla parent this does not mean that you have an “in” to touch chocolate hair for the first time. I have had too many people tell me, “Oooh, I’ve always wondered what their hair felt like,” while pawing my daughter. She’s not an animal, she’s a human being.

We teach our children that strangers touching them in inappropriate ways is wrong and that they should tell an adult immediately. In our opinion, anytime a child is touched by anyone who feels that they have a right to do so, against the child’s wishes and without the child’s permission, is inappropriate.

You see, every chocolate/jam/cheetos handprint on her hair from other children and/or adults is a mark on her dignity. She is small, but she does have personal space and a sense of self-worth. When you invade that space without her permission you are telling her that she has no rights to her body; that her desire to be left untouched is not as important as your curiosity.

Even if your hands are clean, they still leave a an invisible mark.

If you are sweet and kind enough to ask my daughter ahead of time if you can touch her hair, please do not be offended if she says, “No.” She is not being rude. She has no obligation to give the answer that you want. Her body is her own and if she does not want to share it with you at that moment, then please respect her rights. Don’t tell me that she’s being “disobedient” or “rude” or huff and walk away. In doing so, you are indirectly communicating that she owes you a piece of herself for no other reason than because you asked. She does not.

No, I do not do unique hairstyles for my daughter to attract your attention. I do them for her, to help foster a loving relationship with her natural hair so that she will grow up loving how God made her, hopefully minimizing any desire to alter herself to match someone else’s standard of beauty. Do not tell me that if I didn’t want her touched that I shouldn’t be doing all these hairstyles that say “look at me, touch me.” Do not blame the victim for your indiscretion or lack of self control.

If you are a teacher, please note that the first day of school is often very intimidating and making a really big deal about hair – on that day, or any day – while inviting other teachers and/or parents to come over to touch and finger-through a child’s head of hair, can be extremely overwhelming. Yes, she may be one of the few chocolate children at your school, but drawing so much attention to her will only highlight how different she is. Although I can address the issue with you while I’m present, I put my trust in you that you will protect my daughter throughout the day. Allowing classmates to put their hands in her hair or play with her beads is not only distracting to the class, it is also akin to hitting; it is a violation of my daughter’s person and I have to believe that you will do your best to keep this from happening. Just because it might not physically hurt her, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt her character.

I remember back in the days of being pregnant and how it used to bother me when strangers would come and touch my belly without my permission. I know that people struggle with holding back when their curiosity gets the best of them, but nevertheless it seemed only right to me that someone should ask before placing their hand(s) on my stomach.

But I am an adult. I have already formed my identity and self-worth and can hopefully express my discontent in constructive ways. Children are still learning about themselves in the world. They are not as certain of themselves, and if you cross a line they will often question the line, not you.

In conclusion, I pray that this letter is well-received, that those who may have done this in the past feel convicted and think twice before doing it again. For those who have never experienced chocolate hair, may it be a helpful insight into our beautiful world. For people who have recently welcomed a child with chocolate hair for the first time into your extended family, may you respect the child’s personal space and be kind and gentle with your questions and curiosities. For all, please remember that you are helping to shape the character of the adults of tomorrow; if we cannot respect the bodies of our children today, how can we expect them to respect themselves in the future?

Blessings,

Rory, Boo’s Mama

For more of Rory’s writings check out ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com. Ladies, what are your thoughts?

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Miss
Miss
7 years ago

I like that this woman understands how irritating and humiliating it can be when people touch and pet us like animals, but I am not a fan of the use of ‘chocolate’ (or vanilla) for that matter…

Cynthia
Cynthia
7 years ago
Reply to  Miss

I don’t think there was anything wrong with her referring to herself and her daughter (or any of us) as Chocolate/Vanilla. Some people say, “Don’t call me Black, call me African-American”, and others say, “Don’t call African-American, call me Black”. Others say, “don’t call me White, call me Caucasion”. while others say, “It doesn’t matter”. She said those terms to make it easy for everyone to understand what she was saying, and in a friendly implied way. That’s what I think, anyway. This was an excellent article.

SuSu
SuSu
7 years ago
Reply to  Miss

In Japan my students call me “Chocolate Sensei” I actually like the name…lol. Especially after I realize dhow much they liked chocolate. 🙂 It’s ok to me , but to each their own…

Hannah
7 years ago
Reply to  Miss

We can refer to our own skin color as whatever we want. Chocolate and vanilla are a wonderful way of describing some of the colors of people. My skin is the color of coffee with lots of cream in it.…

P.S. I love this article and could never imagine pawing a childs hair in the way that you describe. I stroke my own childrens hair and would never allow someone they are not comfortable with to do that.

Michali michal
Michali michal
7 years ago
Reply to  Miss

If you took the time to read on her blog WHY she uses “chocolate/vanilla”, you wouldn’t be so up in arms. which, I don’t see why it’s such a problem in any case. But for the record, it stems from when her daughter was much younger. Boo (also a beautiful story behind her nickname), had no concept of differences in race & skin color. As a young child, she only knew how to differentiate ppl based on how closely they matched her favorite food… eg chocolate or vanilla pudding ( can’t remember if these were the examples used but you… Read more »

MsLisa
MsLisa
7 years ago
Reply to  Michali michal

You are absolutely correct, the latter portion of your comment pissed me off! How dare you disrespect or belittle “us” in your effort to lift the author of this article up. Many of us are wonderful parents, even though not all of our children read, write, add, and subtract by the age of five. Yet they still manage to grow up and thru hardwork and determination receive multiple degrees, or maybe just one. Some of them don’t receive a degree at all, and inspite of the result of what is obviously parental neglect they manage thru hard, honest work to… Read more »

candy@yahoo.com
candy@yahoo.com
7 years ago

Great, empowering article. Good for her! And I think Chocolate and Vanilla is more accurate than black and white. It’s also a cuter discription of our differences.

Ariel
Ariel
7 years ago

My favorite part was “Do not blame the victim for your indiscretion or lack of self control.” OMG yes!!! This goes for anything that is misinterpreted 🙂

trackback

[…] Read the whole letter here. […]

Deborrah
7 years ago

I love how eloquently she got folks told. I also like the fact that she uses the terms chocolate and vanilla because it is appropriate when talking to and about a child. We don’t have to be black and white just because that is what adults have designated for us as labels. We can choose to identify in any way we please. For the record, I love that website and go there to be amazed at the hairstyles Rory comes up with for little Boo’s hair. She does a better job than I ever did with my daughter! LOL! Everything… Read more »

anita
anita
7 years ago

As a child i remember being “pawed”(to use someones else’s phrase) by little black and Indian kids who were fascinated w/ my straight red hair. Also, in Africa being petted and stroked. both times i could submit to it in the nature it was done. as wonder and curiosity…a learning experience. i remember feeling accepted and helpful in these experiences. but the main thing was — though i wasn’t asked, i did submit to it and it was my choice. even if it was a little uncomfortable to let others into my space . it still happens- i have long… Read more »

El Stewart
El Stewart
7 years ago
Reply to  anita

Anita, Anita, Anita: Do not white wash this lady’s letter. It does not go both ways as you have said. This is a situation that just about every minority in the western hemisphere and post colonial Africa live with just about every day. The encroachment, violation, presumption, & insensitivity administered by white people, in particular, is a continuation of the entitlement and forced access they have had to our bodies from the point of the kidnapping of my people, through the Door of no Return, through the Middle Passage, through life as slaves, ’til TODAY. At what point in history… Read more »

Marie
Marie
7 years ago
Reply to  El Stewart

My mom has bright red hair (she’s Colombian, so she had an accent as well as a different hair color). She went to a predominately black school in New Orleans, and also had to deal with people being fascinated by her hair. She told me a story of a group of black girls who would always corner her, touch her hair, and tease her that it wasn’t her “real hair” (it was). Invasion of personal space is rude. Of course, my mom’s story doesn’t come from a racist mind-set (her experience was a product of bullying, and a violation of… Read more »

Michali michal
Michali michal
7 years ago
Reply to  anita

Anita! You have ABSOLUTELY no sense of reasoning! NON! Won’t even get into how your argument lacks ANY validity…not enough time. And, I fear it would be lost on you even if I tried.

Bard Raconteur
Bard Raconteur
7 years ago
Reply to  anita

(Instead of replying to those who replied to this comment, I will just reply to the base comment.) On an article about respect, it’s funny how people are so harsh to any even remotely non-concurring comments. Hi; I am a mix of Italian (northern, southern, and Sicilian), Colombian, and German. My skin tone is white (or some sort of tan/olive) and my hair is /exactly like that of any other person of African descent (if you wonder why, it’s just a rare natural hair type amongst some parts of Italy). To say that the hair-touching does /not go both ways is… Read more »

MrsManick
MrsManick
7 years ago

That was awesome, very proud of her, and she gets the utmost respect from me. As a person who wore locs for 11 years, I, too understand how it feels when people (all races) just walk up to you and start touching your hair. I commend her also for wanting to preserver her daughter’s self esteem and instilling in her a sense of who she is. It’s just an awesome letter.

MrsManick
MrsManick
7 years ago

That was awesome, very proud of her, and she gets the utmost respect from me. As a person who wore locs for 11 years, I, too understand how it feels when people (all races) just walk up to you and start touching your hair. I commend her also for wanting to preserve her daughter’s self esteem and instilling in her a sense of who she is. It’s just an awesome letter.

Christy
7 years ago

Hello — I am so glad I took a moment to read this. I don’t think I have ever considered touching another person’s hair. But I know I have complimented little girls (regardless of skin color) on their hair or their dress, etc. But if I encountered this beautiful girl I might have to restrain myself from pinching those cheeks! I think in our attempt to connect with people we often crash head first into offending them or invading their space. One (unintended?) by product of holding back is we will all eventually stop interacting with each other period. “I… Read more »

El Stewart
El Stewart
7 years ago
Reply to  Christy

A simple smile, good morning, how about dem Bulls, Redsocks, or Heats? Nice weather, your hair looks lovely, will suffice. It does not make me sad not having to pat little kids on their heads, pinch their cheeks, or paw their hair. Get over your “crash head first” impulse and grow the hell up.

Christy
7 years ago
Reply to  El Stewart

Grow up? Wow.

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years ago

The more touching the better in my view. Is the lady going to give this letter to all her “friends,” baby sitters, and school teachers? Ridiculous. And the premise that her daughter’s dignity is damaged by such touching is laughable. Her daughter is a human, and an animal (just as much as we all are) and so what if people are curious about her hair. Anyway, free me from such people & their proclivities… The lady maybe shouldn’t have a black daughter if she thinks such things. We should not try to “cure” basic human nature & curiosity through shaming.… Read more »

anita
anita
7 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

curiosity is natural but how we act on it may need some guidance. it is fine for my daughter to say they can touch ‘ONLY when momma is there’- that takes care of any creepy adults and over zealous kiddos who might mess up a style she has worked hard on . BTW she loves compliments — they are always welcome. a younger child might not welcome them, some teens may not want the attention,but i can read my daughter pretty well and can tell when she is feeling intruded upon and can then buffer any requests.talking about products and… Read more »

Playwitit
Playwitit
7 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Touching people without their permission is rude. Don’t do it. Did this article piss you off because you are a serial personal space invader?

Alecia
Alecia
7 years ago

Johnathan, Seriously? Touching a stranger anywhere on their body without their permission is not “basic human nature,” it is just plain rude. Rory is not trying to “cure” anything, she’s just pointing out that people may not realize that they’re being insensitive. I don’t understand why you say that Rory “maybe shouldn’t have a black daughter if she thinks such things.” If her daughter were white and people were touching her without asking, I think she’d feel the same way. If she were ashamed of her daughter’s hair, as you say, she’d probably cut it all off or straighten it,… Read more »

clara
clara
7 years ago
Reply to  Alecia

I don’t see touching someone’s hair is rude, now if they are pawing with their dirty, smelly hands that is rude (and has only been done to me by black people) but if they are simply touching it out of curiosity I don’t see a problem with that. I sometimes do that to other people, when I want to compliment on how nice their hair is white, or black. No malice or disrespect intended. Black peopel flip out over anything but have no problem playing they’re so-called music all hours of the night and being loud, yip yappin on their… Read more »

Anni
7 years ago
Reply to  clara

What type of drug are you on Miss?

clara
clara
7 years ago
Reply to  Anni

It IS you Anni. Black people have the highest drug rate/incaceration rate/crime rate/welfare rate etc. It must be all of that creamy crack they coat their scalps with and the chemicals damaging fetuses nervous system. In the 60s when afros where in style black people were respectable, lived in family neighborhoods instead of the ghetto, the children were well-behaved and had manners. When crack cocain entered the picture so did hair weaves and perms. Now we have a loud-mouthed, inconsiderate, ignorant, weave wearing, generation of nasty attitudes rap music about sex, drugs and ass. THERE IS A CORRELATION. I repeat,… Read more »

Tracy
Tracy
7 years ago
Reply to  clara

Please have ten seats.…

Gabrielle
Gabrielle
7 years ago

All I can say is Boo is absolutely beautiful and Boo’s hair is gorgeous!! I don’t think I would ask if I could touch it but I might want to ask her mom how to do it. Mom has got serious skills. Would that be wrong?

TWA4now
TWA4now
7 years ago

It was well written! I liked it but not so much the chocolate/vanilla thing other than that the mother has a voice for her child and others! #don’ttouchmyhairwithoutmypermissionPLEEEEEEEASE!

Jaime
Jaime
7 years ago

Vanilla? Chocolate? So now we are ice cream flavors? Furthermore, the child should learn to have some touching to some degree. Human contact is natural. Kids get touched by admiring adults all the time. It is why and how an adult touches and so long as it is with the parent’s permission that is always the rule. But if a parent is too paranoid, then the child grows with that paranoia and exaggerated personal space.
http://youtu.be/DP2p37MMJBA
http://youtu.be/UB60FolAt6I

Ellie
Ellie
7 years ago
Reply to  Jaime

@Jaime Actually, there’s a really big point to be made about consent. Learning to say “no” (and to appropriately RESPOND to the word “no”) is important do deal with when kids are first learning how to interact in a social setting because, hopefully, it would prevent trying to backtrack and teach teens when damage has probably already been done. And adults should KNOW better! Who on earth do you THINK you are to think that you have a a right to touch another person’s kid? It might be flattering to you (notice, I said “You”, not “your child”) that someone admires… Read more »

teflonmom
teflonmom
7 years ago

I think the lesson that our bodies belong to ourselves is very important for boys and girls of all colors. But I had to laugh as I read the article, because as a “vanilla” child in the 1970’s I attended a camp where I was the only white girl (my mom worked at the camp). I made a friend and we would spend hours just touching one another’s hair–braiding each others hair, combing each other’s hair, putting beads in one another’s hair. It was a very powerful bonding experience–but of course, we were friends and it was mutual. We were… Read more »

Dominique
7 years ago

I think this post was awesome! As a mother myself I feel your frustration, no one has the right to touch your child even as innocently as touching her hair. Kudos to you!

damali ayo
7 years ago

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/touchyourhairsm.jpg[/img]

This was such a moving letter. I am so glad to see that people are starting to “get it” and take up the responsibility for educating white people and protecting people of color. This mother is an example to everyone.

ps. the t‑shirt below is available in kids sizes!

http://www.cafepress.com/touchyourownhair

kathi
kathi
7 years ago

I have mixed feelings about this letter. At first, I didnt like the terms of chocolate and vanilla, but after reading the reasoning, I understand the terms better. However, I am biased to some touching of the hair. I think its because hair is an extension of our inner selves and, maybe, in touching it, a bond, or an understanding of the other person will be formed. Back in the late 70s I met a white lady, mother of two boys. I had a daughter and three sons. We often sat late into the night and talked. One day, after… Read more »

Charlotte Hyatt
7 years ago

That was a lovely way to say respect each other, even children.

arusi
arusi
7 years ago

I don’t think some people get the authoress’ main message. What she’s trying to say is “if you want to touch her hair, ASK first. If she refuses then so be it.”

And yes, it does FEEL, not how it is perceived by curious ones, it FEELS wrong and intrusive when they don’t *ASK* first.

Rosi
7 years ago

Awesome article!!!
Check out Roeblvd.com

KAREN PASCHAL
KAREN PASCHAL
7 years ago

Well said. Thank you.

KAREN PASCHAL
KAREN PASCHAL
7 years ago

Your daughter’s hair is soooo cute. God job Mom.

Jenifa
Jenifa
7 years ago

You are mama, and I hear you roar!

Nana
Nana
7 years ago

I totally agree with everything you said in the article. I am a naturalist and encounter this quite often. It’s all about respect and learning. Bless you:):)

Symone
Symone
7 years ago

Well said!

Terrea Latise
7 years ago

I Love it! Well said Rory’s fantastic Mom!

Angel
Angel
7 years ago

I love this article!!!

Melinda
Melinda
7 years ago

Thanks from a Vanilla college teacher of vanilla pre-service teachers.

Sandra
Sandra
7 years ago

Appreciate all your thoughts. Frustrated however by the use of chocolate and vanilla; just as we want children to feel comfortable with hair, skin color, etc. let’s help them be comfortable with proper terms for their ethnic make-up.

Tracy S.
Tracy S.
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandra

I too identified with the article. However, I do not consider myself to be vanilla nor my daughter, chocolate. I am of Mediterranean descent and identify myself as a Jewish American. My daughter identifies herself as the same but will occasionally add biracial. We believe that labeling a child is as dangerous to a child’s self esteem and self worth, if not more, as is touching their hair. Pointing out differences, as if they are negative, can leave permanent scars.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/image-19.jpg[/img]

Rachel
Rachel
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandra

To Sandra, I certainly understand where you are coming from in your post. I think it might be helpful to understand that the author’s use of “chocolate” and “vanilla” come from an excellent book entitled “I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race Conscious World”. The author of the book (Marguerite A. Wright) explains that before young children truly grasp the meaning of race, they are more likely to describe themselves as simply a color like brown, beige, pink, chocolate, etc. In following Rory’s blog, I am always impressed by how the family cultivates an… Read more »

Aminah
Aminah
7 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Rachel:I totally agree. When my oldest son first started school, he came home one day and asked us “Why do people call us black and call other people white? We are chocolate and some people are peach.” We can learn so much from the innocence of children. I rather enjoyed the article. The important thing for all people is to embrace the way that God has made you and to respect and appreciate His diverse creation of others. Article well written.

Nikkie
Nikkie
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandra

This woman has issues. I don’t think she realises that using her chocolate and vanilla terminology actually negates everything she says she is trying to do/teach her daughter.

As a black person, this is OLD news. I’m 42 and people have been asking or just touching my hair for years. If they ask I let them, it’s nothing. Curiosity is how we learn…

Qiana M
7 years ago

If you can visualize a person cheering and clapping on the inside, then you can visualize my response to this post. Kudos to you mama for your post and what you foster in your daughter who just so happens to be bi-racial. As young Black woman of mixed ancestry I encounter this often from men, women that are African American AND from non African American. Most respectfully ask about touching your hair as most are just naturally curious or fascinated with the appearance and texture, secretly or outwardly expressing that they too would like hair textured like mine. What isn’t… Read more »

Raheema34
Raheema34
7 years ago

As always Boo’s mom (Rory) is an amazing example of what a mama bear loving her baby bear is like. Rory, you are my sheroe, thank you for being such a shining example of cross ethnic adoptions and for protecting your daughter from “grown folk foolishness” like any mom would. By the way, I love ALL the styles you fix Boo’s hair in, and my daughter picks from your website how she would like her hair done for the new style haha I’m a life long fan. Bless you doll 🙂

Jeremy Britton
7 years ago

Great article, thankyou for sharing. Some people seem to think that an African’s hair or a pregnant woman’s belly is there for them to touch and say “awwwwwwwww”; however, they would not consider touching a Caucasian person’s hair or the belly of a non-pregnant woman… Common sense is NOT common practice. Thanks for pointing this out 🙂
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Jeremy-and-Yvie-Britton.jpg[/img]

lmichelle
lmichelle
7 years ago

EXCELLENT!! You are a great parent and your baby is gorgeous!

Evelyn Kennenwood
Evelyn Kennenwood
7 years ago

So true! One precious point not made in this article is the wonderful bonding time sitting and doing hair creates. It is one of the things I miss most now that my children are adults. Sitting and braiding, twisting,and combing makes for many quiet hours of discussion about friends, hopes, challenges, fears. I treasure those memories. Enjoy!

me
me
7 years ago

Slow clap. Standing ovation.

Charm White
Charm White
7 years ago

This is a great article. I love it and I believe that we shouldn’t be as hard on her for using the terms “chocolate” and “vanilla”. Words tend to be arbitrary, it is the semantics that matters and I see what she is doing. She is in essence associating positive words with ethnicity so that her child in turn will view her own race and the race of her mother as different but beautiful. Especially since the differences is so stark and her daughter is still at the age where she is trying to process the world and society. I… Read more »

Precious
Precious
7 years ago

Great Post! Great Mom!Brought tears to my eyes! I will certainly be sharing this on my Facebook page!

Carol
Carol
7 years ago

I luv this article so much. Well thought out and beautifully written.

This was my favourite part,

When you invade that space without her permission you are telling her that she has no rights to her body; that her desire to be left untouched is not as important as your curiosity.”

You didn’t just speak for your child, but you spoke for every black woman who has had to endure this same invasive behaviour from white people.

I will cherish this article for a long time to come.

Thank you! 🙂

cellocat
cellocat
7 years ago

Great post. Consent isn’t a value and right we adequately protect and cultivate.

Quick edit suggestion: you want people to be convinced, not convicted.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

Well said. I recall when my daughter was an infant a woman in a Dr’s. office asked if she could hold her. I had never seen this woman before, much less met her. I said “No.’ She and most of the people in the office looked shocked. It was beyond me that anyone would ask to hold my child. First off I didn’t want my child to think being passed from person to person was okay. Second, this woman was a total stranger the thought of handing my child to someone I have no clue about is absurd to me.… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago

It irritates the heck outta me when Caucasians refer to themselves as “vanilla” and dark skinned folks as “chocolate”. We’re not food or flavors. I find that reference just as insulting as someone ruffling my child’s hair without her permission.

Monica
Monica
7 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

I agree the child has a race, nationality and heritage, grow up about the ‘chocolate’ references

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

Your short sited honey, you shouldn’t get upset over things like this. We all come with our individual “imperfections.” This is not, however, a big one. Practice a little leeway, and maybe someone will give leeway to you when you undoubtedly display your own imperfections. How can you derrive such a negative comment after such a powerfully written, positive piece, unless of course you are one of the women she refers to here.

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Honey?” Now why would you call me that after I just made a comment that I am not a food or a flavor and find those references irritating? SMH. Pay attention.

danzie
danzie
7 years ago
Reply to  Jenny

You have taken this a lil too far…grow up! the article is about respecting a woman child space, and you here taking offense as if she came to your door step calling u vanilla or chocolate. if u take offense tell people who directly call u that to stop. My CHOCOLATE cousins living in America hate when people call them African American. They are American citizens with Jamaica born parents and ancestors from India, China and Africa who they have never met in their lives. CHOCOLATE, Black, African american, “Coloured(everybody has a skin colour) & NIGGA(depending on your perception of… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago
Reply to  danzie

Don’t worry, Danzie, I’m not here for YOU. Everyone has their preferences, for crying out loud we all come from different family cultures, ethnic cultures, etc. If I knew that someone did not want to be referred to as African American, I would respect that. Like my daughter, who is African. I have light skin, BTW but it’s not the same color as vanilla. Light skin comes in all kinds of shades, which is why the term “white” isn’t comfortable to me.

danzie
danzie
7 years ago
Reply to  danzie

Jenny i ain’t worried and i know u ain’t here for me, still don’t change to fact that you crack me up. i find u hilarious my opinion.and yes everyone has preferences so don’t go imposing your preferences on the woman who calls her self vanilla. That how u sound when u phrase your opinions the way u did. its as if she should apologize for calling herself vanilla and her child chocolate. perfect example when i purchase makeup from black opal the names i see are rich carmel, heavenly honey, truly topaz, nutmeg, kal-something sand, hazelnut, beautiful broze. My… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago
Reply to  danzie

Vanilla is actually brown. Both the bean and the extract. The bean is almost black it’s so dark.

Rhea
Rhea
7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

I will say that it is interesting that she doesn’t want her daughter to be objectified/pawed like she’s an animal, but she refers to her as chocolate, and to herself as vanilla.

danzie
danzie
7 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Elizabeth may i call u hun? thanks for calling her honey and based on the tone of your response i’m almost sure you didn’t mean anything by it. you where just trying to be as gentle and polite as possible. correct me if my assumptions are wrong. PEACE TO YOU! 🙂

Donna
Donna
7 years ago

To my “vanilla” sisters you have said too much, God bless you. If half of what you wrote had happened with my child I am certain that my letter would have been along the lines of “I had to slap a few people that thought they had the right to touch my child’s hair”. SMH Secondly other people’s annoyances about how you refer to yourself is just that, other people’s problem. I am black/African American/chocolate. It is just a term feel free to un-bunch your knickers.

Tiffany
Tiffany
7 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Hi Donna! I’m also black/African American/chocolate… and I agree 100% with your comment! Well said 🙂

Rhea
Rhea
7 years ago
Reply to  Donna

I have a problem with people telling other people what they can and cannot be offended by. The n‑word is also “just a term” and I would be insulted and offended if she had referred to her as “my little [n‑word] baby.”

Tracey
Tracey
7 years ago

wow. People are worried about Vanilla and Chocolate being terms to describe people. There are way more serious issues out there than worrying about this. Being a white momma to 3 light brown child I have experienced so many topics. As for the hair my children all have “good hair”. The texture of all of their hair is “white” but very curly. I have had white hair salons not want to trim their hair because they didn’t know how to do black hair.…it is white hair…do you know how to cut curly hair? I have had black hair salons telling me… Read more »

Carly
Carly
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracey

To Tracey I’m offended that you said that your kids have “good hair” because their hair is “white”. What makes hair good or bad? My daughter nor I have “white” hair and I think our hair is absolutely beautiful. I’m just so sick of people putting so much emphasis on hair. Don’t we have bigger fish to fry?!?!?

Shantay
Shantay
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracey

Tracey, you should really get that good hair/ bad hair mentality out of your head. Black hair is not bad nor is your children’s hair good because in your opinion it’s “white” hair. I’ve seen plenty of people of all hair textures wear extensions because they wanted a different look. I actually dislike seeing little girls with extensions because some of them begin to feel as you stated, they need extensions for longer braids and they do not. Hair is hair regardless of straight or curly. Would you tell your friends daughter she had bad hair?? I’m sure you would… Read more »

danzie
danzie
7 years ago
Reply to  Shantay

i agree with shantay

Mikavr
Mikavr
7 years ago
Reply to  Shantay

In her defense (and I don’t know her and it WAS offensive to read) maybe she saw Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair” and was talking about it in that way, meaning “good” and “bad” as words that African American people use to describe AA hair types. Which, Rock points out, continues to perpetuate prejudice within the AA culture? Or maybe not… Just thought the quotation marks might mean something. Does she not get to use those words because she’s white? (I’m not trying to be snarky, I’m serious, certain words as a white person I don’t feel I have the right… Read more »

Rhea
Rhea
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracey

While I appreciate the scare quotes you put around “good hair,” the tone of your comment does kind of suggest that you understand very little about black hair, and that you subscribe to notions about black hair that are inaccurate. You cannot suggest your kids are black, and therefore part of this discussion, but then take their hair out of the “black” spectrum of textures by referring to it as “white.”

danzie
danzie
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracey

Ok so many have decided they wanna get technical about the skin colour and whether vanilla is brown or beige refering to Daniel below anyways…i’ve concluded that not everyone has the capacity to understand, and not stray from the point cause processed vanilla in terms of ice cream looks like Caucasian skin. anyways Tracy not gonna say u shouldn’t say good or bad hair even though i disagree with your terminology. anyways i got more kink than curls, and i think my hair and those in my family who aren’t mixed, have good hair. That’s my perception. If u came… Read more »

Eden
Eden
7 years ago

This is so ridiculous. Just in its completely over-dramatic tones. OH MY GOODNESS. PEOPLE ARE TOUCHING MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR. SHE WILL NEVER KNOW SELF-WORTH!! Get over yourself. I had a skin condition as a child, and I was constantly touched, pointed at, and “ewwwww”-d at. When I got older, and my skin disease had been medicated away, and my hair grew out long and blonde — and I started to look “conventionally attractive” (my best friend’s term, and one of my favourites, as it’s so funny)- I went through touching of every kind. Overly friendly boys, strangers I didn’t even… Read more »

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
7 years ago
Reply to  Eden

There are many issues in this world, both severe and not so severe. Sorry for what you have gone through, perhaps this post is not for you. But emotional issues are definitely worth being addressed. After all, many american schools have been shot up over children with emotional issues. It’s nice to know that a mommy is taking care of her child and nurturing her emotional wellbeing.

Rhea
Rhea
7 years ago
Reply to  Eden

It won’t screw her up. It gives her agency. You do not touch people without their permission. If she is okay with letting a person who asks to touch her hair, then her mother doesn’t tell her to be offended. But if she doesn’t want people to touch her hair, who is anyone to tell her that she has to allow someone to touch it?

Sophie
Sophie
7 years ago

I find it incredibly offensive that you refer to black people as “chocolate”. Maybe you should worry more about that than about who is looking at your daughter’s hair.

FormerlyFromTokyo
FormerlyFromTokyo
7 years ago

For some of you commenting, it’s quite obvious that you purposely skipped over the point in your rush to find something to hate/be offended by. You were never going to like what this woman had to say in the first place, just because. What’s irritating is the self-righteous posing when really it has nothing to do with what she said. She was on point with what she said, but to some people here, it would never matter what she said because she’s Caucasian (calling her “white” could likewise be seen as “offensive,” no? As she is neither white NOR vanilla flavored).… Read more »

Shanda
Shanda
7 years ago

I didn’t skip over the point of her story. It hit home a lot for me as my daughter is bi-racial and attended a mostly black school for elementary. She would come home on a regular basis in tears because the other children all wanted to play in her hair and would get mad when she said no. However, with all the vanilla/chocolate references it made it a bit painful to read. Those terms can be extremely offensive. Everyone did not grow up in the same environment where terms like that were okay. Where I grew up, to be called chocolate… Read more »

DrOVOandLipstick
DrOVOandLipstick
7 years ago
Reply to  Shanda

Sorry to hear that!

Nnnennaya
7 years ago

I LOVE this letter! Well said and written! 🙂

Luvmykurlz
Luvmykurlz
7 years ago

@Tracey- Healthy hair is “good hair”, and people with all hair types can, and do get hair extensions. Just because someone’s hair has a tigher curl pattern or shorter length doesnt mean extensions are required. “Black hair” is very versatile, and just as capable of growing just as long as any other texture of hair.

CurliestofHair!
CurliestofHair!
7 years ago

Okay, whatever your hair type…learn to love it!! you will have it for the rest of your life. I have had a very difficult time accepting this fact and have gotten brazilian straightening treatments, straightened it weekly and only worn it in a bun when it was curly. I hated my big, frizzy, unmanageable biracial hair. It was not until I discovered these products that I noticed a real difference in my hair. My natural, true curls and kinks finally took form and my hair was not extremely dry all the time. THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT!! I’ve been using this product… Read more »

CurliestofHair!
CurliestofHair!
7 years ago

Okay, whatever your hair type…learn to love it!! you will have it for the rest of your life. I have had a very difficult time accepting this fact and have gotten brazilian straightening treatments, straightened it weekly and only worn it in a bun when it was curly. I hated my big, frizzy, unmanageable biracial hair. It was not until I discovered these products that I noticed a real difference in my hair. My natural, true curls and kinks finally took form and my hair was not extremely dry all the time. THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT!! I’ve been using this product… Read more »

Shimon
Shimon
7 years ago

Where do you live that so many people are always touching your daughter’s hair? Do you live in some small isolated town where people have not seen black children? If that many people are being disrespectful to you and your daughter, you may want to consider moving to a more liberal area where being African American isn’t some kind of spectacle.

veritas
veritas
7 years ago

I am Jamaican and I hate any racism “black” against “white”, “black” against “mixed”, you are exposing racial purity when you try to classify people into a racial box, my African ancestors being oppressed is no excuse to–in modern day–start oppressing who are seen as “white”. my ancestry is so varied it boasts: Maroons Indian Chinese Caucasian just to name a few; an ex said i was not black enough “Too much cracker blood”!! 🙁 he was African American… that’s discrimination, doing d same evil now that had been done to us, jus makes us evil too..the article was lovely… Read more »

DrOVOandLipstick
DrOVOandLipstick
7 years ago

I am glad that the white woman does her baby’s hair! Fuck all the rest of the comments! That little girl’s hair is on point!

Maha
Maha
7 years ago

i love this lady… she’s alright with me…

GemmaT
GemmaT
7 years ago

I love these indignant “chocolate/vanilla” haters. You know good and well some black people have been referring to themselves as “chocolate” for ages. Don’t act like this is brand new. Like Oakland and New Orleans haven’t been referred to as “Chocolate City” by black people. Does it bother you that it’s a white woman doing it? Is that the real issue?

The point is we need to respect each other regardless of color and not overstep personal boundaries. This is not about the vernacular used for color.

Che' Lyons
Che' Lyons
7 years ago

I love this so much! Mother’s love is so beautiful!

joie
joie
7 years ago

Well written article. Luv it!

C Harris
C Harris
7 years ago

I quite like this article. Although I was a bit unsettled by the terms “chocolate” and “vanilla”…but she has a whole youtube, blog thing. It apart of her brand. I don’t even mind the whole candy reference…how many times has some guy tried to hollar at me and say “hey my beautiful chocolate queen” or when describing my color say “rich dark chocolate skin”. I could see how it gets that deep. But I can’t really see the big “to do” about it…in light of the larger context of her statement! Which is of the utmost importance. However, I dont… Read more »

Nat Turner
Nat Turner
7 years ago

A black mother can profess this and she’s being angry and unreasonable. A white mother of a black daughter can say this and people applaud her. I’m not buying it as black people do not need white people to validate our natural beauty.

Donni
Donni
7 years ago

GemmaT please say that a little bit louder! It’s ONLY because the white woman made the reference… Definitely nothing new and NOT meant in an offensive manner. And call her “overly-sensitive” or whatever, she does not want her daughter petted on. Everyone is capable of making the distinction between curiosity (Btwn children) and adults thinking they have a RIGHT to touch her daughter’s hair; She’s obviously addressing the latter. Everyone bringing up children in a safe, loving, progressive environment has a right to their own views, ways, and belief system. And say what you want; the language and feelings expressed… Read more »

sb
sb
7 years ago

Im sorry this isn’t about world peace or anything but I think the writer was on point about the way she feels about her daughter’s hair and her self worth. It is important that she grows up with morals and values and I think her “vanilla” mom is doing a great job at it. 😉

Farrah J.
7 years ago

This was absolutely amazing, and unfortunately necessary. She hit every head on the nail in a “you know. you’re right” way. I’ve seen this trending a while back, it wouldn’t hurt to share it again. Good read, great reminder.

Alexandrea J. (@CoachAlexandrea)

I love EVERYTHING about this! She so eloquently put the reasons why it is uncomfortable for people to do things like this to us. We aren’t animals and we aren’t here to soothe your curiosity. It’s ok to be curious but it is not ok to invade someone’s space or suggest that their need to “be left untouched is less important than their curiosity”! #fingersnaps that part GOT me! I love this and I love what this woman is doing. I follow her on Instagram and I really REALLY support her. She REALLY gets the joy and mission of parenting… Read more »

Tabitha
Tabitha
7 years ago

Yes! This is common sense. Hair is a part of your body and can’t not be touched without expressed permission. As a woman you wouldn’t want some random stranger walking up to you and grabbing your boob (unless you’re into that sort of thing). This is how I feel about my hair, and for those who feel I’m overreacting, please be reminded, it’s my hair. No one defines what is important to me except God and myself. So I applaud Mrs. Vanilla Mama for teaching her daughter self-worth! Bravo!

Andrew
7 years ago

I could not agree with this mother more. I am an adult male with waist length dread locks. I know what its all about to go places and people want to feel of my hair. I constantly have to tell people not to touch me.
So vanilla mom, you are doing a great job, keep it up.
Blessed!

geri
geri
7 years ago

her daughter is so cute! okay? lol and she’s right. we can’t be touching ppl and what not. we gotta respect ppl’s personal space.

Elle Frazier
7 years ago

I agree and applaud this post! No one has the right to fondle anyone without consent and I absolutely hate when people touch me, especially ones I do not know. This was very well executed and I am glad it was written!

Jen Jen
Jen Jen
7 years ago

First, I really enjoy the Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care website. She posts informative and basic articles about hair styling. Her flat twist tutorial using sewing yarn was a revelation in my natural evolution. I think the website name is meant to be catchy and it works. It’s not like she called it “nappy hair, vanilla care.” In college, I worked with a volunteer play-group that brought together brown and black kids who were adopted by white families around our New England college town. I can’t tell you how much hair care tips were a part of the training and education we… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
7 years ago
Reply to  Jen Jen

Ive read her blog for hair tips. It’s one of the better adoptive family hair blogs. My family has also dealt with the issue of people touching my daughter’s hair either out of affection, or just to satisfy their own curiosity. The latter bugs the heck out of me! We teach our daughter not to let people touch her hair unless they ask her first, but I am careful not to be overly dramatic about it, like I feel this article is. More importantly than the actual touching, is the intent behind the touching. As our daughter gets older we… Read more »

Ayanna Smith
Ayanna Smith
7 years ago

Well said! While it doesn’t bother me that white people are curious about my daughter’s hair and want to touch it, I do believe it’s appropriate that anyone who touches a child should ASK first and respect their personal space. Also, who wants to be on display at all times? I applaud her for writing this. It sounds different coming from a white mother of a black child than a black mother of a black child. When we say it, we’re being overly sensitive.

HoneyTresses
HoneyTresses
7 years ago

Your daughter is so adorable, with those chubby cheeks & pigtails, just so cute. I agree & respect your stance on people touching your daughter. Your child is a person, not an object or a doll, her personal space should be respected just like any other person. Keep up the good work with raising her to love & appreciate what God has given her & to also be a child that respects her body and others. As a black person thanks for understanding that as a mixed child, her hair may require different care than yours. It will really help… Read more »

Jacka
Jacka
7 years ago

I wish this lady would start her letter like this:

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE.….

cuz damn…they don’t get it. This is the oldest topic evah! I’m tired of them finally realizing something then putting their stamp on it.

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago
Reply to  Jacka

What you said is very important but maybe not fully recognized. It’s as if it suddenly becomes actually important once the white woman said it. But she did address that by saying that it seemed that white people thought it was their way past the personal infraction, as if it was just something that black people have a problem with and not actually harassment.

Misslainey
Misslainey
7 years ago

This is a mama who gets it! As an adult, I have had other adults reach and try to touch my hair. I am not a puppy. This child is so blessed to have a mama that is raising her to be proud of herself and her heritage.

Jessica Branch
Jessica Branch
7 years ago

First I want to thank the writer of this letter. As a chocolate women lol I know to well how important it is to help build our children self esteem. The fact is society is consistently telling us that we are not beautiful and even making scientific studies to support their racial views. One of the biggest issues that women of all color deal with is our hair. Black girls have it the hardest because our natural hair is the furthest from the standard of beauty. Thank God that more and more commercials cast natural women and girls. But it… Read more »

Kathleen
Kathleen
7 years ago

I truly appreciate this wise mothers approach to this ongoing problem. Yes, It is an ongoing problem! I am a grown woman who wears braids and has consistently for over 10 years. I have adult women of non color who feel they have the right of passage to invade my personal space and finger my hair without my permission. I have to tell them to please not touch my hair/body. It amazes me how taken back these women are because I spoke up and denied them what they felt was there right! It can be uncomfortable and sometimes irritating to… Read more »

Geneva Poole
Geneva Poole
7 years ago

I deny the statement chocolate hair. It is not a confectionary. It’s my hair.

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago
Reply to  Geneva Poole

yeah, it’s interesting that she used chocolate throughout the article. not sure if it’s better or worse than black or AA, but definitely seemed awkward at least. Also it’s important to state what kind of hair since not all people of recent african ancestry have the same hair, which is implied by saying chocolate hair or black hair or African American hair. Our girls have 3B/C and 4B hair with their own attributes, none of which are are being a confection.

Nikki
Nikki
7 years ago

It’s pretty cool that the mom is learning just how “white” the world is made to be. If people feel free to ask her to touch her daughters hair, it is because they have been curious for some time, but wouldn’t dare ask a black parent? Her experience with her own people may have taught her just how much white and normal have been made synonymous. Whites have isolated themselves out of access to others, so their curiosity is rampant. If people bothered to simply have relationship with one another, hair touching would be inevitable. I was the only one… Read more »

BillieJoe Allgood
BillieJoe Allgood
7 years ago

Pardon me but WTH are strangers doing touching a child’s head, WTH are teachers doing inviting someone to touch a students head. Am I one of the few sane people left that believes a child should not be touched by a stranger. My sister has grandchildren who are half African American descent, go ahead and touch them without permission and see what she or her daughters do to you. Holy Mother of our Lord, what is the matter with people today.

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago

I think she strayed away from her main point is that hair should not be a vector for people to feel that they can sidestep a person’s right to psychological and physical privacy. Hair, shoes, clothes, beauty, and especially age should not be seen as reasons for someone to force themselves on another person against her/his wishes. Even close friends and family don’t have the right for physical contact if the person isn’t willing. How many times does a grandfather or friend ask for a hug or a mom or dad ask for a kiss from a child? These are… Read more »

Bryan
Bryan
7 years ago

1st world problems.….

Mikavr
Mikavr
7 years ago
Reply to  Bryan

Actually, this happens in the 3rd world too (the PC words are “developing nations”). When I was 13 and living in Cairo, I had to run from crowds of people trying to touch my hair, especially children. But there were also men (trying to touch other parts of me) and grown women going for the hair. It’s because I had long blonde hair, and it was different. So I believe the behavior of wanting to reach out an touch is not born of malice but of curiosity. However, it’s ALSO invasive and, if many people are doing it at once… Read more »

Todd Singleton
Todd Singleton
7 years ago

Rory,
So well written. I lived in South Korea as an 11 year old in the late 80’s. I can’t count how many random people would walk up to me and put their hand in my hair, often times without even speaking or saying hello. I was so bothered by this as a kid.

Thanks for writing this!

Todd

Jolie
Jolie
7 years ago

I respect the way you care and stand for your chocolate baby. Love has no boundary. I love doing little girls’ hair. If you have a chocolate little girl in your home and you need someone to do her hair and live in or near Boston or Brockton send me an email. Be sure to write HAIR in the subject line.

Kayisha Thompson
7 years ago
Reply to  Jolie

How kind of you however Rory does Boo“s hairstyles. Reread the article

Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago

Amazing!! I feel ignorant after reading this! Enlightened! People always want to touch my hair, feel for tracks that aren’t there, and pull my curls. I have accepted it as part of my life and sometimes it can feel like an invasion of personal space. But I never thought of it in terms of how this shapes character and the message it sends to my own daughter! It is not just hair! It’s an extension of ourselves that deserves respect! Thanks for the aha moment!!

chicagodp
chicagodp
7 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Yep, just like Lady Gaga says “I am my hair!” in her “Hair” song! 🙂

kenya
kenya
7 years ago

Thank you from one mom to another. Thank you
(if it matters, I am a black woman with black children)
Your reference to building tomorrows folks, was spot on, very well done.
Thank you

Kay Tee
Kay Tee
7 years ago

Bravo!!

Stacie
Stacie
7 years ago

I love this message and, for me, it’s broader significance. I was annoyed when others decided to touch my hair, I was even more annoyed with “having” to give this one a hug or that one a kiss. Children have their own sense of self and personal boundaries.

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago

I am grate that she has written this, and while we need to see it, I genuinely hope that this is shared in mass with those who are not of color because they really need to understand this.

I would love it if a national news source picked this up.

Queen
7 years ago

Well said. Much respect.

Tru FireElectric
Tru FireElectric
7 years ago

There is really only one sense and that is in fact: #TOUCH …so I agree with the desire to request others to “keep their hands to themselves”… SHAKING HANDS AND TOUCHING IS SO POPULAR but I too find it invasive. I can be called rude for not wanting someone touching me, but so be it. I could go on and on about “TOUCHING THINGS” and “THINGS TOUCHING US” but I will not so do now. I will say, another reason why we are all so “confused” and “disgusted” about “WHO WE ARE” is because our #GENETICS are so mixed up not… Read more »

Tru FireElectric
Tru FireElectric
7 years ago

RORY states it perfectly: Even if your hands are clean, they still leave a an invisible mark.

Tru FireElectric
Tru FireElectric
7 years ago

I “play with” the #concept of #TOUCH in my natural hair spoken word piece called: “KINKY”.…(video link attached) One of the last lines says: “YOUR TOUCH MAKES ME #NERVOUS, and so I send myself to be your Servant, I offer you this Service: “I AM GONNA KEEP IT KINKY, do you take me to be Yours?” .…And for me this line embraces the following: “Compared to the other senses, touch is very hard to isolate because tactile sensory information enters the ******Nervous system****** from every single part of the body. As a result, very little research has been done on… Read more »

MrsJ
MrsJ
7 years ago

This is an awesome letter. I myself am mixed and experienced the rude and inconsiderate touching from others. Now being a mom to two boys and experiencing and witnessing the same this being done to my second son who is 19 months. He has a wild curly fro and I’m too in love with it to have it cut. The downside people want to touch and finger his hair. This letter made me realize I need to speak up and protect him from those who are in awe of his beauty. Thank you.

Katrina
Katrina
7 years ago

You have expressed the views of your family and daughter very well and unoffending. I applaud you for having the courage to express it publicly. You have a beautiful daughter, enjoy and treasure her as she grows. I am a chocolate mom, who as a child was the only chocolate child in my school at 4 yrs old had all people children and adults not only touching my hair but my skin also.… I completely understand. We’ll done.

Jill
Jill
7 years ago

I find that random strangers do touch kids often (even though for us it had nothing to do with unusual hair). And they also don’t read or respect kids’ reactions. My son would recoil and object, as he was very shy and had a large personal space bubble. There were people that would CONTINUE to touch him, even after this reaction. I mean, complete strangers in the grocery store! It made me want to throttle them. Stop violating the personal space of my child… he is DENYING YOU PERMISSION and he HAS EVERY RIGHT TO DO THAT!

Scottie Lowe
7 years ago

Chocolate and vanilla are foods. Your daughter is Black and you are white. What are you teaching her about her identity if you can’t address her race as what it actually is. She is not descended from Cadbury bunnies, she’s descended from Africans who had an identity and culture that should not be erased or dismissed. I salute your desire to teach your daughter to love her natural hair. I wish black women did the same to their daughters rather than teaching them from childhood that they should hate their God-given hair texture and embrace hair like yours. I find… Read more »

Lisa
Lisa
7 years ago
Reply to  Scottie Lowe

Glad you noticed the food theme; hoped you noticed the age too. I’m a “chocolate” aunty and just wanted to point out there’s actually context to these terms in child development. “Chocolate” and “vanilla” are not about avoidance of racially-accurate terms but reflect the language very small children use to start understanding their world including ethnic and racial differences. Rory’s use seems inspired by this scholar’s work here: http://www.amazon.com/Im-Chocolate-Youre-Vanilla-Race-Conscious/dp/0787952346. Very small kids tend to start talking about identity and difference in the language they’re most familiar with–food, lol. They eventually move on to accurate terms as they learn/grasp them. And… Read more »

Halimah Chy
Halimah Chy
6 years ago
Reply to  Scottie Lowe

Rory, I think you wrote a great post. I think that adults as well as children should always practice boundaries. So koodoos to you! However, I agree entirely with Scott. Chocolate and vanilla should not be used to describe a child or his/her body parts. I can tell you first hand as a parent and an educator, children have the capacity to learn at infancy and understand more than you know. Teaching your child to refer to her hair as chocolate or vanilla is ignorant. Your daughter’s hair is curly — not chocolate, not vanilla and not strawberry. Your daughter’s hair… Read more »

Long hair
Long hair
7 years ago

I had long hair in elementary school and still do. Girls used to pull my hair or touch it without my permission. It was annoying because it hurt my head and they would get pissed at me when I pulled away. People should not out of curiosity be entitled to parts of your body. I don’t care who they are they should understand personal space if not what will end up happening is they will be shoved back away from that personal space.

Heather
Heather
7 years ago

The article seems very sugar coated and exaggerated. I understand the desire for personal space for your child but the style this article is written in annoys me to no end.

BillyGene88
BillyGene88
7 years ago
Reply to  Heather

Perhaps you’ve touched someone’s hair without permission and now feel a little guilty?

Kesha
Kesha
7 years ago

Beautifully written and spot on! I am a Black Woman who was raised by black parents, but in predominantly white environments. I can remember as a child with hair and skin that looked different feeling so uncomfortable when people wanted to feel or touch it. My mother, as you seem to be was always concerned with and ensured that our hair was always neat and combed. “Can’t stand to see nappyheaded little girls” she’d say. What a gift you have given your daughter by teaching her to express her discomfort and discontent as well as such a gracious, honest and… Read more »

Grey Dread
Grey Dread
7 years ago

It ain’t just us vanilla folks. lol I’ve had black folks want to touch my dreads. I don’t trip. We’re different. I think we need to acknowledge our differences — and celebrate them. However, if you really feel it’s necessary to reach out and touch somebody, make sure it’s a friend and not a friend’s child.

Margi
Margi
7 years ago

I am white and blond and people want to touch my hair all the time too. It was worse when I was a little kid. I don’t think it is specific to a certain race.

Lucy
Lucy
7 years ago

I don’t think this is a real letter written by a real parent of a Black child. The whole thing seems a little fake to me. The photo looks fake. The writing seems staged. Like that stupid Cheerios commerical were the otherwise intellgent girl, pours cereal on her dad’s chest, suggesting it would help his heart. 🙁

lois
lois
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucy

This is actually real. I’ve been following her around the time I went natural. This woman seems obsessed with her Daughter but to me she seems to really love and care for her. You can find her at her website or on facebook. She posts all the hair styles that she does for her.

http://www.chocolatehairvanillacare.com/

Valerie Taylor
Valerie Taylor
7 years ago

This is one of my pet peeves, I just hate it when people put their filthy hands in my hair feeling for tracks. Even when they ask me if this is my hair and I tell them yes, they still feel the need to reach for it. It makes me feel dirty and disgusting.

Bree
6 years ago
Reply to  Valerie Taylor

Mom you rock!

Nar
Nar
7 years ago

I am horrified that anyone would just come up to another person and start pawing at hair, or anything else for that matter. What the heck is wrong with people?! I’d be tempted to smack someone’s hands away. Seriously, do people think they’re in a petting zoo or something? It’s disgusting to think that someone would come up and start running their hands through another person’s hair or even rubbing a pregnant woman’s belly. It IS a mark upon someone’s dignity. I can totally understand that. I’m sorry that anyone has had to go through that.

Barbara
7 years ago

Rory, Girl,I admire your consternation. A lot of the things you spoke on made me reflect on situations I may have put myself in; not only with children, but with adults, also. Upon seeing one of my Sistahs with a fierce hairdo, I’ve been compelled to “touch”; even tho it was in sincere admiration, I realize, now, that I’m still invading “their space”!! Not cool! Thanx for opening my eyes and adding to my self-inventory list I tend to take from time to time. Continue to instill your values to your daughter! When you receive negative reactions to your convictions,… Read more »

Kenya FC
Kenya FC
7 years ago

The points in the article are well received. As a black family who moved to a majority white Reno, NV from Wisconsin, we have this issue of others touching our hair but don’t consider it a problem. We live around all whites and my boys, who wore afro’s for awhile, attend schools with all whites. The children are so curious and are always touching my boys hair to see how it feels! Yes you should always ask first out of courtesy but sometimes curiosity gets the best of us. So my boys don’t mind it and they really have been… Read more »

csolomon
csolomon
7 years ago

White people have personal space as well. So maybe this white mother may want to pass along her own message to her daughter’s people that playing the “knock-out” game to white women walking down the street is an invasion of personal space.

Bakari
Bakari
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

What does Knock-Out have to do with this story? I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but good lord. Say something relevant or GTFO.

Also “her daughter’s people” is WHITE PEOPLE as well. Try being less idiotic.

csolomon
csolomon
7 years ago
Reply to  Bakari

I’m a troll?
Something tells me you stare at a troll every morning when you look in the mirror. That’s why that word is fresh in your mind.
And your use of curse words and anger at my post doesn’t surprise me one bit.

jasmine
jasmine
7 years ago
Reply to  Bakari

LMfao. WHy did you even respond to that troll. I know it can be hard at times lol but he was or she was a real idiot for that

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Waaaah, but what about Whitey? Pay attention to meeeeeee!

csolomon
csolomon
7 years ago

It’s nice to know my tax dollars are supporting people who have such potential in making a difference in the world.

Cfalcon
Cfalcon
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

csolomon what is your issue? Your point has absolutely no relation to the above letter. Why must people like you feel the need to ruine such a kind and uplifting article with your negativity and should I be honest racist remarks. It shows your inability to make clear judgement, highlites your ignorance, and lack of cognitive insight. Who exactly is using your so called tax dollars? If this is another sad attempt to attack people then let me ask what difference you are making in the world? I happen to a PhD level educated Afican American female therapist who is… Read more »

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Unless you live in New Zealand your tax dollars aren’t doing jack for me.

kajenks0615
kajenks0615
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

I am sorry what in the world the “knock out game” has to do this child’s hair or anyone’s hair. Your comment is irrelevant and ignorant. This woman wrote this based upon what her child is experiencing at school. Why would she even bring up that disgusting, barbaric act to her small child. Get a clue.

SBecton
SBecton
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Her “daughters people”? And who might that be? Her family? So her mother and her family shouldn’t knock out unsuspecting white women? Oh, ok. In case you were placing inexplicable stereotypes out there, I hope that you have since become a victim of the “knock-out” game. If not, then please allow time for the appropriate research. The “knock-out” game actually began as a “smacking” game in largely white institutions of higher learning (or bullying/hazing if you prefer the PC term) many years ago. It become “roughed” up into knocking people out in the same establishment. It is performed by ALL… Read more »

Donna
Donna
6 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Insane.

Lianna
Lianna
7 years ago

Well done ^_^

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
7 years ago

Parenting, you’re doin’ it right.

csolomon
csolomon
7 years ago

At least the little girl has a mother. There is no mention of her father in the post.

kitkat
kitkat
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

You’re attempts to belittle this article are outrageous. I believe that I agree with the others. What you have to say does not pertain to the article, and you obviously do not consider the opinions of others.

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

So what?

Drizzle
Drizzle
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Why would the father be mentioned in this article when the mother wrote the letter because the father is not mentioned does not mean she does not have one. To me I feel that you are saying this because you assume the father is black because the mother is white which is quite offensive. All black fathers are not dead beats. I for one have AN AWESOME father who looks down on anyone who leaves their child. My grandmother taught him that if you bring a kid into this world you take care of that child and that is that.… Read more »

Dee
Dee
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

guys please stop responding to this person’s comments. we all agree that she needs help. so let’s not get mad about it!

casso
casso
7 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

She does have a father who does her hair as well. Its so cute! They have a Facebook and Youtube page where you can see how lovely he is towards his daughter.

Joss
Joss
6 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Please leave this post. Your continued ATTEMPTS to troll any and every unrelated post just highlights what a sad, lonely life you must have. No matter how many clever, ignorant comments you can think up, you will not drag everybody on this post down to your level. I understand misery loves company but this is just pathetic. Get off the Internet, find a good therapist and try to get to the bottom of your apparent issues. Praying for you! Now as we were…

Nichole
Nichole
6 years ago
Reply to  csolomon

Because the Mother didn’t mention anything about the child’s Father are you so ignorant to assume she doesn’t have one. You’re simple.

Karen
Karen
7 years ago

Excellent article. You are teaching her and others all the right things. P.S. Her hair looks absolutely beautiful.

Lia
Lia
7 years ago
Reply to  Karen

I agree. Rory has a Pinterest board or some of Boo’s amazing styles. Beautiful hair for a beautiful girl done with tons of TLC.

Mary
Mary
7 years ago

I absolutely love this letter. It’s so respectful yet straight forward with no treading lightly. She covered the most important issues in relation to children and adults with curly beautiful hair that others are not accustomed to. Many a time I’ve had individuals say,“can I touch your hair?!” while they are already touching it. If you’re going to touch it anyway, why are you asking? If I was asked “can I touch your hair” before they even come near me, I would gladly say,“sure but please be gentle.” It not only invades personal space but also allows others to believe… Read more »

vjhr
vjhr
7 years ago

I would like to point out that the same can be said for little “vanilla” girls with beautiful hair, whether it be long and smooth or full of curls. I have a little girl with adorable bouncy ringlets, and lots of people have touched them. I myself have found them irresistible many times, so I understand the urge. And it has never occurred to me to be offended when other people do. Nor, apparently, has it offended my daughter, who looked at me like I was crazy when I asked her about it. I realize that none of these folks… Read more »

Jayce
Jayce
7 years ago
Reply to  vjhr

I think the larger point is that whether or not you mind a particular touch, children should be taught that strangers do not have a right to touch them, even for a positive reason. It is good for children to know that someone does not have the right to touch you, even if it is because they think you are pretty. This kind of boundary (which does not have to be introduced in a scary way) creates a confidence and self respect in a child that can be very valuable should a situation arise, either as a child or later… Read more »

RHONYC
RHONYC
7 years ago
Reply to  Jayce

THANK!
YOU!
SMH ;-/

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
7 years ago
Reply to  vjhr

I’m glad you feel okay with it. Many, many people do not. You don’t get to say whether this issue is “minor” or whether or not anybody should be worried about it.

Rock on with your vanilla self, but ask before touching others.

Johnna
Johnna
6 years ago
Reply to  vjhr

When I was younger, I had hair down to my backside. I’m a white woman, with very silky, thin hair. People, not only kids my age, but their parents, would approach me and begin playing with my hair without my permission. Sometimes they would get rough. My hair tangles easily, and I also have a chronic pain condition, and the painful parts of the condition have been there since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Every time they’d play with my hair, it would cause me horrible pain, and no matter how often I asked them to stop,… Read more »

Ameika
Ameika
7 years ago

Csolomon… I accidentally clicked like on your comment as I was ravishly trying to click the dislike… Hell no she/he didn’t button. Please get yourself a life and have several seats.

svagdar
svagdar
7 years ago

While I think this phenomenon is revealing of the problematic character of the exoticism that Europeans practice vis-a-vis colonized African bodies, this phenomenon also makes me recollect an experience from my early childhood, which I spent in and around Brooklyn. Although I ‘m not sure what exactly I’m getting at with this anecdote, I feel like it probably had some sort of Freud-esque impact in my personality formation. Although I’m not white, I am often mistake for it, and in my early years had very blonde, straight hair. Anyways, at the church in Brooklyn where I had to go, some… Read more »

Federico Lambea Osuna
Federico Lambea Osuna
7 years ago

I’m agreed, this girl is not a pet. Why people thnk? I love touch the children’s head I know, how do it to an unknown child? This Girls is molested by unknown adults. Respect Her.

Nika
Nika
7 years ago

Great job mom, people of African descent are NOT animals. Your little girl is absolutely adorable, keep up the good work with building up her self respect and self esteem.

Cynthia
Cynthia
6 years ago

Rory, we haven’t met, but I love you and Boo is lucky to have you for a mom!

Tiff
Tiff
6 years ago

I loved this article! I had to set somebody straight about putting their hands in my hair on Thanksgiving. At a minimum,people should ask before touching someone else’s hair. Hair is a part of a person’s personal space!

scott
scott
6 years ago

I like your article. I think it’s up the individual child. Some may think it’s okay for people to ask to touch, some may not like it. But I agree all should ask first, start teaching boundaries right away. I don’t see what it has to do with race, any child with long hair can braid and weave and what not. All people should respect all people, their hair and bodies included, starting as children and more and more as they grow. If you are surrounded by vanillas who find your daughter’s hair so fascinating, you might be living in… Read more »

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
6 years ago
Reply to  scott

You don’t see what it has to do with race because you don’t _want_ to see what it has to do with race.

Open your eyes.

Joseph
Joseph
6 years ago

Honestly, I think this post itself is a bit ridiculous! So many people around the world express themselves touching so, what’s the deal? Something different will be if somebody is touching her private areas or show themselves unrespectful touching her hair. I’m pretty sure some of you people will love living in a bubble! Touching is just a love language! I think you are just picking a fight with the rest of the world for a none sense idea… LOVE and get over it!

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
6 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

Keep your hands to yourself until invited or until you’ve asked and received an unequivocally positive response.

If you can’t follow a simple rule like that, what other boundaries are you prepared to just shove on through because “so many people around the world express themselves” that way?

Erica
Erica
6 years ago
Reply to  Joseph

I’m afraid you’re the one living in a bubble, Joseph. White people thinking they are free to just reach out and stroke black people’s hair, as though they were a pet animal or something, is what’s ridiculous. Though it’s true that touch *is* a love language–the entire concept of love languages is centered around how you relate with those people you love. Love languages have nothing to do with how much you want to touch someone else’s hair…because it looks unlike any hair you’ve touched before. That’s not about love. What that expresses(at best) is that a person has poor… Read more »

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Erica

Absolutely Correct, Erica!…

Natigirl
Natigirl
6 years ago

As a biologically white child in a biracial household in a black neighborhood, my normal experience in elementary school was to have all my friends and other little girls I didn’t really know mess with my long, straight hair every day. I really didn’t care at all, as a 7 year old, if a little girl my age (who happened to be another color but I didn’t realize there was a difference between us at the time) to spend hours brushing and braiding my silky hair and calling me a Barbie doll. It didn’t strike me the slightest bit odd… Read more »

JayeDee
JayeDee
6 years ago

I LOVED this very insightful, well written, enormously necessary letter!! I would love to see more people touch on such delicate, and ever evaded subject matters with such candor, yet tactile manner.

I normally don’t believe in censorship, but I vote that csolomons remarks be removed from the thread, as it contributes only negativity, has absolutely NOTHING to do with the subject matter, and is drawing the positive flow in a wrong direction. 86 the troll!

Patra
Patra
6 years ago

My son’s hair is beautiful and people/strangers always want to touch his hair. We have to educate people often, it is not appropriate for you to touch any part of his body. His hair is part of his body-Do not touch him anywhere.

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

Really, I think you kindof need to “get over yourself”. I don’t believe it should boil down to a racial thing. If you don’t want someone else’s hands on your kid, then you DON’T want someone touching them. Wherever. Whenever. I see it no differently than if someone’s kiddo had beautiful CURLY hair. Speaking for myself, I’d probably want to touch it! It wouldn’t be about race, just about the “different-ness” of it. Of course, people want to touch it. I don’t think you need to make it about race. And seriously, you are going to be in for a lifetime… Read more »

leifu
leifu
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Would you sacrifice your child’s personal space for the curiosity of others? Cause im pretty sure this is the issue at hand.

Gloria
Gloria
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Who are you? Please educate yourself before you open your mouth. Learn to foster meaningful relationships by acknowledging you have a serious problem facing reality!

Gloria
Gloria
6 years ago
Reply to  Gloria

By the way, this is for Erin.

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Erin, Have you ever heard of a thing called self-control?

Erin
Erin
6 years ago

Another thought…what if a black family had adopted a WHITE girl with silky smooth hair and all the black folks wanted to run their fingers over it because they’d never seen or touched anything so silky? Wouldn’t it be pretty racist of the black family to not allow their peeps to touch her based on her color or hairstyle because she’s white?? Or at least complain to others about it being because she’s white? If you don’t want someone touching your kid, then go stick her in a bubble. Or take her out into the world and deal with life as normal.… Read more »

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

What it comes down to is that you don’t go touching people without their consent, full stop, end of.

That people think it’s okay to go grabbing at little girls regardless of colour is alarming. Yes, people do think it’s okay to go grabbing at little black girls more than little white girls.

And yes, touching their hair is _touching them_. It’s not about raising children in a bubble. It’s about basic respect for them as people.

Jennifer A
Jennifer A
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

As a black mother who happens to do hair for a living I have a couple of points. 1) Black people DO NOT like anyone to touch their hair period. It could be thier best friend a stranger or even their significant other. It takes too long fir us to make it look good and the oils on your hands can make our hair fall or otherwise. 2) When you are the different child regardless of color of skin you will always ‘stick out’, so why not make the child, because that’s who we are talking about, feel more comfortable… Read more »

Luke
Luke
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Erin, hush. You’re the exact kind of bigoted, self-righteous hateful human being that people can’t stand. I don’t know what world you live in but the fact that you have a white parent that thinks that much of a black child, especially from the era we just not have long ago come from, is beautiful. I wish more people were as beautiful as this woman. Have a heart or have a seat. The choice is yours.

Lauren
Lauren
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Erin…you’re an idiot. Geez. That hashtag of foolishness you spewed is probably of the most ignorant kind of foolishness. I would not want peoples hands all in my child’s hair either, if nothing more, than for sanitation reasons. It is about personal space and respect for that space. That woman’s child is NOT a shiny new toy that it meant to be fondled or something that all the neighbors need to come see. She is a child and a human, so.…hands off.

Lynn
Lynn
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

@Erin, I think I understand what you’re saying and I agree. No one’s personal space should be violated. But since it’s something that everyone does (regardless of color), there’s no reason to portray it as a racial violation, or as something over-entitled white people tend to do to black people. I’ve definitely raised my hand to touch another black woman’s hair before catching myself. I wear an afro and black people touch my hair and express their curiosity about it all the time. I’ve often thought it was weird that black women seem to talk about that as if it’s… Read more »

Cherice
Cherice
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Erin girl please go get your life. I don’t blame this women for not wanting people to touch her child out of curiosity. Children are not pets. If you she is cute or you want to say something about her appearance address the parent. It is completely rude and shows lack of manners to just touch something or someone that does not belong to you just because you want to. My children will quickly put you in your place if you touch them without permission as I would if someone just decided to come and touch my earrings, hair, shirt… Read more »

Ana
Ana
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

I was “the white girl” in a mostly black elementary school, and this happened to me. Children would sometimes come up and touch my hair, or even try to pull it, without asking permission. I was asked if my hair was real. A boy once spat a wad of gum into my hair, and I had to cut the gum out. Sometimes I would be asked politely if it was okay to have my hair touched. I even had a friend ask if she could brush my hair, because it was “like a doll’s hair”. In short, I experienced otherness,… Read more »

Jocelyn
Jocelyn
6 years ago
Reply to  Ana

Best comment ever…very thoughtful and understanding!

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Jocelyn

I Agree! Great well thought out comment!

leifu
leifu
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

She is talking about random strangers.…
Nobody should have to put up with them or theyre child being touched. People need to keep there hands to themselves, instead of trying to make a person feel wrong for setting boundaries for people they DON’T know.

leifu
leifu
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Also, its not really the same idea when you flipped situation. You claim that they wouldn’t allow her to be touched bc of the color of her skin, but seeing as the mother’s main point was to instill a sense of self confidence and boundaries in her child, you can’t just see it as race. The reason why she put it in a somewhat racial perspective is maybe she lives in a dominant white community. Or previous circumstances made her see this problem in a racial view. We can’t say for sure, but the reasons for people being so curious to… Read more »

Andi
Andi
6 years ago
Reply to  Erin

Ok, we get your point. Stop minimizing this woman’s well thought out words by riding on the privilege parade and telling us how to feel. Kudos to this wonderful mom!

NukXu Ka Ab Ba
NukXu Ka Ab Ba
4 years ago
Reply to  Erin

BS no one has a right to touch your child without permission PERIOD!!!

Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas
6 years ago

Love you momma!!!

yvonne
yvonne
6 years ago

i loved this piece, but the reference to “chocolate” and “vanilla” as skin colors/races really bothers me. the child is not “chocolate,” the child is black.

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
6 years ago
Reply to  yvonne

The child’s mother is white. The child is mixed race.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago

Her references of vanilla and chocolate bother me not at all. If she had referred to herself as “White” and her child as “Chocolate”, you MAY have a point. By marrying (I assume) a Black man and fathering a mixed race child, she has every right to use the terms of endearment she feels suitable. She has earned that right. Based on your avatar Yvonne, I would think you would understand that. — Bill, Black man

Quoth_the_raven
Quoth_the_raven
6 years ago
Reply to  Bill

Boo is not mixed. She’s adopted.

Johnna
Johnna
6 years ago
Reply to  yvonne

For all you know, that term might actually be a term the child likes to have used, if that makes sense.

Anthea Brainhooke
Anthea Brainhooke
6 years ago
Reply to  Johnna

The article was reposted from the website ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com, which might give a little clue as to why that particular terminology was used.

Ndix
Ndix
6 years ago
Reply to  yvonne

I agree. Why the word play?

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Ndix

I think it has to do with the age of her daughter…My daughter is very light skin, and I am a dark skin black Woman.… When writing a poem about her family and identifying all the different hues of skin color, she likened it to coffee! Some like it black…Some like it with a little cream.…and some like it with a lot of cream!… So I understand.that analogy.

beverly
beverly
6 years ago

Well written thoughtful piece. Black hair is a big deal. Bravo mom. The chocolate/vanilla references not bother me at all. The terms are appropriate for young children. Also the child’s mother is white therefore the child is both white and black. Pride in one culture does not require the exclusion of other, and we must refused to be lited my definitions imposed by the oppressor.

YaHabibtiColoosh
YaHabibtiColoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  beverly

Her children are not white and black. She’s an adoptive mom of black children.

Mommy4
Mommy4
6 years ago

I love it when you has expressed about people needs to respect, not touching their black’s hair without permission. The people’s hair part of the body, easy to asking “can I touch it?”.… I would same thing because I told my children(mix w black&asian), don’t let people touch it because not their hair. What if a stranger touch your hair without permission… U got pissed.. Right?

Johnna
Johnna
6 years ago

When I was younger, I had hair down to my backside. I’m a white woman, with very silky, thin hair. People, not only kids my age, but their parents, would approach me and begin playing with my hair without my permission. Sometimes they would get rough. My hair tangles easily, and I also have a chronic pain condition, and the painful parts of the condition have been there since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Every time they’d play with my hair, it would cause me horrible pain, and no matter how often I asked them to stop,… Read more »

Roseline
Roseline
6 years ago

I love this article. I always tell my daughter to make sure she doesn’t let other people touch her hair. Thos article was well pu together.

Rhonda
Rhonda
6 years ago

I am a Black female and I have two biracial children. I was met with a different response when my children were born and are now 15 and 22. Their hair is not kinky or nappy but referred to as “good hair”. One of my daughters has silky straight and the other has loose ringlets. I was often asked do you straighten or relax their hair? People should that biracial children’s hair can be any texture!

YaHabibtiColoosh
YaHabibtiColoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  Rhonda

Very true! I’m a black mom to two biracial boys. Both of my boys have kinky 4a/4b hair like mine.

Rochelle
Rochelle
6 years ago

Who would want to just touch any ones hair? Child Our Adult? (Stranger) you don’t know their sanitation practices

Hanifa Michelle
Hanifa Michelle
6 years ago

I don’t touch other people’s children without their permission period, because you just don’t do that…ever. I likes this article

Toni
6 years ago

Well at least this white women does her child hair.….lol some white women
Wow…lol…your kids hair.……there’s a black beauty salon on every corner find one…the earlier the better.

Christine
Christine
6 years ago
Reply to  Toni

Ok so the white mom take your kid to the shop is not always the fairest thing. I wanted my kid to have a design put on the side of his head. I know the shop is best for that so I took him. He is a little white boy but I thought “damn it’s ok, just another barber shop” boy was I wrong. I have never felt stared down so hard in my life. I even tried to start a conversation with another mother who just looked me up and down and stood up and sat somewhere else. I… Read more »

YaHabibtiColoosh
YaHabibtiColoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  Christine

It’s not different than what black people in general experience when we go ANYWHERE that isn’t an all-black neighborhood. At least no one in our neighborhoods follow you around assuming that you’re there to steal, and when police show up they’re there to PROTECT you, not harass you or interrogate you.

Kay
Kay
6 years ago

I agree about the personal space thing and that they should most definitely ask because that is utterly inappropriate and disrespectful.. But I don’t think it should be so much about race. You’re almost being racist against your own race by making it sound like some club and you’re the “in” touch. Like that’s a bit far fetched if you ask me. Don’t make it a thing. It’s not a thing. It’s just hair. Black or white hair should be a personal “ask before you touch” thing. This shouldn’t be limited to white people. I know white people are probably… Read more »

YaHabibtiColoosh
YaHabibtiColoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  Kay

It IS a “a thing” though, at least with the ignorant people who insist on touching black people’s hair because it’s different. Don’t blame us or accuse of of racism because we call them on it. That means that you’re dismissing our personal experiences because it’s not what you’re used to, which is ignorant and disrespectful.

Laura
6 years ago

I LOVE this article! When my grandaughter was about 2 she had had enough of people touching her hair and out of this petit little body came a resounding “DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR!!!”

Shaneice
Shaneice
6 years ago

I’ve seen this picture before… when I bought a picture frame, it was the demonstrative paper picture on the inside. Can’t believe everything online. The story seems made up but it’s just to draw awareness in a very diplomatic method. I appreciate it anyway.

Jana
Jana
6 years ago
Reply to  Shaneice

It’s not made up sweetie. This women has an Instagram page which I follow. Her story is REAL!!!

Lori
Lori
6 years ago

This child is not mixed she is adopted by two white parents. The mother started a blog basically for other white parents with adopted black children and /or biracial children to learn how to comb their hair. Personally im not a fan of Whites raising black but since most Black’s won’t or can’t adopt I don’t see it changing anytime soon. … all in all she takes really good care of the girls hair.…… but calling the child BOO is a really problem for me.……

Deedee
6 years ago

I am dominican with 4c type of hair, my daughter has blonde beautiful curly hair, and as i read this articule it is so true, we find everywhere way to many people who not only does not ask for permission to touch my kid, but i found people who try to feed her without asking for permission. It is upseting when you put the effort and love in doing you daughter´s hair and people aproach to your child with ´´the right´´ to touch her.

Nancy
Nancy
6 years ago

I wish my mom did those things for me growing up.

Mary
Mary
6 years ago

I know exactly what you are talking about. My mum is also white and I was raised in an all-white environment. People, especially older ladies, always came up to me and touched my hair without permission. I hated it and still remember how uncomfortable I felt. As I grew older I became very vocal about people touching my hair without asking for permission. Today if somebody asks me very nicely, I am usually okay with it — they are just curious. I just want to be treated with the same respect other people expect for themself! And usually this wish… Read more »

Reeny Bee
Reeny Bee
5 years ago

Christ who really gives a crap. She is a child and you as her mother are immediately singling her out as different. I have ginger haired children, I have people commenting constantly about “what gorgeous hair they have”. So you are a ‘vanilla’ parent? Lol, I’ll have to tell my sister that as she also has a ‘chocolate’ child. What a load of tripe you talk. People are people no matter what colour; yet you seem to thrive on the apparent attention drawn to you by your ‘chocolate’ child. Get over your self you ignorant woman!!

lrene
lrene
5 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

I don’t think she has anything against people complimenting her daughter’s hair but their lack of regard for her personal space is the issue. Anyone who doesnt have enough respect for people’s personal space is flat out rude — white or black. Kind of like how you come across in your comments. You are belittling this woman’s experience which is shared by many others if not by you and your family.

Simone
Simone
5 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

I personal agree with the woman in this article. I know many people who feel that they have the right to touch my hair simply because it’s different. If I were a mother I’d feel the same way. Some people have no respect for others personal space or opinion much like yourself. Mothers must stick up for their kids when they can’t do it themselves.

gen
gen
5 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

I disagree with your comment about this mother being into herself. She’s obviously trying to tell people to give her daughter space. I am a dark skin Hispanic with tight curls. My friends see my hair curly at times as well as straight. My white friends always seem intrigued by my hair and constantly ask me if they could touch it. At first, i thought it was weird but now i am okay with it because they are curious and have probably never felt hair like mine. In any case, your comment to this mother is rude.

Iconic AlCapone King
Iconic AlCapone King
5 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

I agree with this letter and the young lady is spot on. As a black child growing up in all white neighborhoods and schools I experienced the same treatment and it does not feel good at all when people would ask me those dumb questions and make stupid comments oh yes, and ask to touch my hair. That is really embarrassing and very hurtful inside. Your ignorance does not surprise me, especially your ridiculous comment about your sisters chocolate children. So what! I highly doubt your black because you hide your face and your not raising black children so no… Read more »

mejuju2
mejuju2
4 years ago

I agree I have very long natural hair and I’m AA other AA women are rude coming up to me asking is that all your hair? Then get mad when I say yes then try to touch it. To make sure smh!! It got physical because you donot touch me or my child Period!!! it’s Disrespectful!! My son goes through the same thing he has almost waist length natural locs same thing smdh. Also other AA women like to be the spokesperson for all AA women spreading lies like we have slow growing hair or anyone that hair is a… Read more »

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago

You are absolutely right!!!…

CozyVon
CozyVon
4 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

Wow, Reeny–you sound like the ignorant one. Whether you want to admit it or not, this society DOES see color. But this white mom sets an example w/ her black daughter for all–that differences can be celebrated instead of swept under the rug, as you seem to want to do. Plain & simple, touching someone’s person without permission is an invasion of personal space & if they’re not cool with it then they have every right to insist others respect if. Now, keep sailing down the river of denial!

Jacqueline MrsQueenb
Jacqueline MrsQueenb
5 years ago
Reply to  Reeny Bee

How ignorant you are!!!..,I feel sorry for your ginger haired. Obviously you don’t understand!!!… I feel sorry for your children as well as your sisters you’re not preparing them for your world where people do look at them differently and treat them differently no one has the right to invade anyone’s personal space

USA
USA
5 years ago

that teacher is a racist you know that’s inappropriate telling class to touch her hair well good thing mom fiund to stop those idiots your suppose to keep your hands to yourself duh!!!!!

Its_Truth
Its_Truth
5 years ago

I was raised in a all black school with one white man and that was the principle. Just take her to a neighborhood where she can fully be accepted because you cannot change the standards of beauty within a society

Atlchik
Atlchik
5 years ago
Reply to  Its_Truth

HUH…SMH…Someone is touching her child. I don’t care what side of town you’re on or what race you are, that is NOT ok!!!.…People always feel the need to touch my hair, and I don’t care what neighborhood I’m in… its annoying!!!!!

a mother too
a mother too
5 years ago

Touching someone’s hair is not “akin to hitting.” not a good idea to spread ieas like this.

YaHabibtiColoosh
YaHabibtiColoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  a mother too

Imho touching someone’s hair without their permission is no different than grabbing or hitting them. It’s a violation of their personal space and constitutes assault.

Kitkat
Kitkat
5 years ago

I wish my mom was like this! I didn’t see a problem with white people grabbing at my hair uninvited until I was a teenager.

Moji-Sola Cherry
Moji-Sola Cherry
4 years ago

Can I print this out and hand them out to people

Layla
Layla
5 years ago

Sorry for my comment but white people bother me with their stupid questions about Afro hair! You can’t understand when you were a little girl and in school everybody touch your hair without permission! Doesn’t matter if ask you to touch or not, really I don’t like!Is not nice!

Ebony Sharie Harris
Ebony Sharie Harris
5 years ago

I agree with the mother. I hate when people touch my hair. If you want something to pet on go play with your dog.

NukXu Ka Ab Ba
NukXu Ka Ab Ba
4 years ago

I loved this article I just wish I had seen it when a teacher at my son’s school (who was not my son’s teacher BTW) was just walking down the hall, saw my son in his class walked right in stood behind my son and proceeded to play in his hair, without asking. and when my son asked him to stop, his own teacher said “oh it’s ok let him do it.” But is was not OK. My son is 14, over 6 feet tall in high school, and a teacher, white male teacher at that, felt it was OK… Read more »

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