Monday, November 22, 2010

Does Natural Hair = Creative?

While sitting and devouring a 1.5 quart container of Moose Track ice cream by myself (not literally....don't judge me! :P), I remembered a conversation I had with a gentleman while riding on the Metro last week.

It was a busy morning. Not during rush hour, but just before the rush of lunch so it had begun to get busy again. As I enter the train heading uptown, which is crowded, I notice one available seat beside a gentleman rocking a chunky fro and holding onto a book. For some reason, I either zoom in on hair or shoes now. :P I smile and a take the seat beside him. He breaks the silence by asking, "What is it that's smelling so good?" At first I thought he was referencing the fragrance I made(and was wearing), but right before his question, I had just popped in a piece of fruity gum. LOL! I think he was just trying to figure out how to drum up conversation and that was the easiest way without being awkward, I suppose.

Anyway, he begins small talk. Since we're in DC, naturally it went to politics first, then to literature, then to poetry and then to open mics. He asks me, "Do you do open mics?" I respond that I go to them to enjoy the talent. He then says, "You should perform at one." I ask him why and his response was, "You look like you're creative."


Let me recap what I had on:

Black shark bite sweater
Denim jeggings
Black motorcycle jacket (w/silverish grommets)
Black and silver leather moon hobo
Gray boots

Yes....a lot black and gray(silver). lol

And my natural hair was twisted into maybe 70 twists and piled into a bun on the top of my head. Not something that I think would evoke a "you look creative" comment, but the look works for me. Is this the look of someone with a lot of creative energy? Artists wanna chime in here? lol

Back to the convo..... The creative comment then opened a segue into him discussing that he was a poet and he decided to share some of his work with me on the train, which was cool. He was actually pretty good, but it was still a weird situation.

But the comment had me thinking...there are these perceptions that natural women are more "conscious", more in touch with themselves, more of whatever presumptions are floating around out there. And while many ARE those that have been mentioned, many of us aren't. Many of us are just women who happen to wear our hair naturally. Not necessarily artistic, not necessarily socially conscious, not necessarily more free-spirited. Just natural. Sometimes it's really just that simple.

Have any of you encountered those types of comments, or any comments that were motivated by the fact that you're natural?

Natural Urbanista


NinaG said...

Yes! When I had locs a few years ago, this dude walks up to me on a train platform and asks "Are you conscious"? I knew he meant politically/socially conscious but I responded with something like "yes, I'm not unconscious".

KP said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! See, I would've said something sarcastic like that. :P

Anonymous said...

this has not happened to me yet lol am not creative at all

Anonymous said...

That has happened to me twice this summer alone! I'm not sure what about natural hair screams 'artist', but apparently it's saying it loud and proud :) I don't mind it, I do like to paint and do creative things, but it's not my profession. I wonder why people jump to that conclusion!

Tiffany said...

If anything, I think natural hair says confident. And I don't mind that one bit.