Black on campus: Don’t touch my hair

I grew up having my hair cut short. So short, in fact, that for a good portion of my life, I was called bald. According to my parents, having my hair long would have made it look messy and improper.

When I got to UBC, I decided that I would grow my hair out because I had never gotten the opportunity before and long natural hair is becoming increasingly popular. I learned a lot about moisturizing, styling, picking — and it took me some time to figure it out, but I think I got a decent hairstyle down.

People at UBC noticed and I really appreciated all of the compliments I got. But on the other hand, I also started getting people touching my hair a lot and it hasn’t been a good experience. Not only does it mess it up the hairstyle, but it has put me into uncomfortable situations.

I understand that people touch my hair out of curiosity and with good intentions, but I believe that it’s overstepping my boundaries. A lot of people assume that we are close enough for them to touch my hair, but the reality is that we’re not.

I only wish there was some way to convey that to them easily.