“I like your hair!” Says the little white girl running up to me in Walmart. I smile. Say thank you. I slay. Even little white girls in Walmart can see that. She makes my day. I’m wearing what I euphemistically call my Sideshow Bob hair style. Orderly disorder. Does everyone in Walmart see it? Appreciate the care it takes to manage the chaos of a million disorderly kinky hairs of different lengths and textures into something wild, yet stylish?
My gaze lingers a few seconds longer that natural on the faces of Walmart patrons. Is the black grandmother of 3 little girls in greeting card aisle checking out my hair approvingly? Are the 3 little girls broadly smiling at me because they know I slay. Or is it because I’m staring at them uncomfortablely long? No matter. I rack up other approving looks. A nod from a 30 something black man. You are way too young for me baby, but I appreciate the love. “I like your hair,” says cashier as I leave. I smile. Say thank you.
So, a week later, as I painstakingly untangle my nappy head, I think of advice that a wise young woman who chided me for always wearing my hair in a ponytail gave me, it’s hard work being beautiful.