Saturday, January 14, 2012

Skin As White As Yours

"People pay hundreds to get your hair, you know?"

It's a phrase I've heard since I've had enough hair on my head to warrant it. I pull at the curls awkwardly behind the register. After all these years, I still don't know what to say.

"Uh, thanks."

The middle-aged customer nods encouragingly. "You are welcome." She says each syllable as if she has given me some great compliment. 

Now I've talked about before how my hair is a great pain. So has my sister. And while everyone appreciates compliments, please understand that I am losing patience with this one.

It is not as if I have chosen to have this hair. It is not something I have worked on to get this way. If you like the way I do my make-up or pick out my outfits, then I would be more apt to acknowledge the statement.

But at this point in my life, you are pointing out that my hair is different and worth hundreds in chemical products to recreate, and that I somehow got lucky because of genetics. That is not a good compliment. 

It's like me coming up to you, staring you in the face, and saying, "You know blacks would pay millions to have skin as white as yours."