“May I please touch his hair?”

can I touch your hairRyan Harrell,
Holland, MI.

Our adoptive son, Tagg, clearly is not a biological member of our family. In his two years with us we have encountered the entire range of reactions from loving acceptance to ignorant comments to outright disgust and disdain. But through it all, the fact is that we represent the new reality of the hodgepodge of racial and familial identities that is the United States. And the most common reaction we get, whether at church, in line at the grocery store, or at a playground makes us laugh and enjoy the humor in EVERYTHING: “May I please touch his hair?”


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6 Responses to "“May I please touch his hair?”"
  1. Andrew Dicob says:

    The little guy does have some pretty awesome hair…… are these individuals asking about the hair as an intro to ask about Tagg and how he became part of your family or do they really just have a hair fetish? I always have an issue with random people coming near our children… I can’t imagine what I would do if people were constantly trying to touch them.

  2. Chiquita Biddle says:

    They really want to touch his hair, they want to feel the texture. I am not gonna lie. I was curious about this blue eyed blonde haired friend at school and I touched his hair when we were 14. I told him it was soft and he asked, “Why did you say that?” It’s just curiosity. I notice that those types of people are beyond generally interested in other races. They really want to be your friend, get to know you better, have you around, (even date you). These people are just curious about the texture. I’m “black” and I like the texture. I wanna play with other people’s wild big thick hair too! Especially if it’s just washed and very soft from leave-in-conditioner. I played with my Puerto Rican freind’s hair cuz it’s very pretty and different from mine. Very curly free, fun and wild! They just wanna know, they don’t mean to offend you or your son. They may not be around many “black” people and just wanna know more about us, including our hair.

  3. Nadia says:

    He’s a gorgeous little guy. He looks like a lot of the kids in my family. I’m black by the way.

  4. Summer Antonetty says:

    People have Hair fetishes. At least they asked first. Most of the time black women and children aren’t allotted that courtesy. If I had a dollar for every time a classmate, co-worker or associate reached over and dug there fingers into my scalp I’d be able to but a boat…lol It actually amuses me now; it use to annoy me. But I changed my attitude toward those encounters and now use it as a teaching moment. I actually meet the father of my children at a house party; when he reached around my back to run his fingers through my hair.

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