I freak out and immediately go to the website
NONE of the plus size dresses are included.
Zero. Zip. None.
Not surprised. Fuck them.
As I mentioned in my last Around The Web post, I did share some tweets on the #YouCanTouchMyHair project where Black women agreed to be petted by Whites in public to satisfy White curiosity. (Both Clutch and Colorlines had stories about it if you are still unclear about this project; Al Jazeera mentioned one of my tweets in their story on it.)
I personally have nothing against any women who participated in the project, but it was not something of interest to me. I feel no empowerment in conceding to White wishes just because it occurs at a time/location of my choice, unlike previous (and current) Black body dehumanization, which did (does) not. Ultimately, it is about White desire and the White Gaze, for which I have no interest in satisfying. I do not feel that being petted will make the Whites who ache to do this any better people, any more aware of their White privilege, nor any more likely to examine why so many Black women are opposed to this even if a few are not.
I recently saw this photograph below of Black women who countered the position of those who created the project. You can’t touch their hair.
In the tweets below, I used the hashtag #YouCanTouchMyHair since that is what people used to talk about it, but to be clear, NO, I do not support any event where I become an exhibit for the White Gaze. My entire life is already treated as such, and I am already touched without permission, primarily by White women (hair) and Black men (the rest of my body), so I am really not interested.— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Like…I’ve never put my hands on anyone’s body without permission. Unclear as to why this is a “right” to some people. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Yesterday I said many interactions with WW remind me of street harassment from BM. Them touching my hair is one of em. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
A WW stared at me for THIRTY minutes at Starbucks once. She and her WM friend were discussing my hair. Uncomfortable. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
I wear wraps to keep WW from trying to touch my hair & fake wedding ring/earbuds to keep BM from street harassing me. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Someone left comment “I’ll wait for the ‘you can touch my butt’ exhibit” on Al Jazeera. But not objectification? Aight. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Naturally, a Black man attacked me about my disinterest in this project, primarily since it would “offend” White women not to be able to pet Black hair. Their concern with White women’s feelings at the expense of Black women’s is nothing new though.
BM suggest BW who aren’t interested in #youcantouchmyhair are “overly sensitive” = MALE PRIVILEGE. You determine NOTHING w/ my body.— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Also realize some Whites will use this petting zoo exhibit as an excuse to touch ANY BW hair since BW = monolith to many. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Someone mentioned that White people petting Black women’s hair is no different from a handshake. Seriously…this is what goes for critical thinking on Twitter. *sigh*
Shaking hands implies PARITY. BW being petted connects to legacy & present Black body dehumanization. False equivalence. #youcantouchmyhair— Trudy (@thetrudz)
Ultimately, Black women can choose to allow anyone of interest to pet their hair, no matter how aggressive, forced and inappropriate it is, but the reality is simply choosing to pretend all that it entails doesn’t exist doesn’t erase it. For example, street harassment doesn’t become “flirting” just because a woman fails to hold men’s sexism and misogyny accountable, or have internalized them. In the same manner, White privilege and dehumanization through objectification and fetishistic gazing/touching of Black people does not change it into something nice simply because a Black woman decides at what time and place it can occur.
Related Essay List: On Natural Hair…
I’ve only heard horrible things about the college program. This was just worse than anything else.