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Acting Like The Hair Apparent

| Right | November 21, 2012

(I am a Black woman, and I have natural hair, meaning there are no chemicals in it to make it straight. The customer in this story is a white woman, and she is the only one in the lobby.)

Me: “Welcome to [Movie Theater]. Will that be all for you today?”

Customer: *looks at me disdainfully*

Me: “Ma’am, is there something I can help you with?”

Customer: “Is all of that under your cap your hair?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Customer: “Why do you have so much?”

Me: “I’m Haitian. We typically have very thick hair.”

Customer: “Do you wash it?”

Me: “…Of course. I actually washed it last night.”

Customer: “It looks dirty. Why isn’t it straight? It looks unprofessional like that.”

Me: “My hair is naturally kinky. I’d have to get a relaxer for it to be—”

(Without warning, the customer reaches out, knocks my hat off, and shoves her hands all through my hair.)

Me: *swats her hands away* “EXCUSE YOU!”

Customer: “What? I wanted to see what it felt like.”

Me: “And you felt no need to ask me if it was okay to enter my body space?”

Customer: “Not really. I figured it was okay. I mean, it’s just hair. It’s not like it’s your boob or a body part or anything.”

Me: “It is, and I don’t care to be touched. Please don’t.”

Customer: “I was just curious!”

Me: “But you could have asked. I’m still a person.”

Customer: “No you’re not! You work here, and that means I get to do whatever I want to you because I’m paying you!”

Me: “Actually, [Manager] pays me, and I will call him to escort you out if you don’t finish your transaction and return to your theater.”

Customer: “Well, I don’t want to buy anything now because you don’t want me to touch your hair!”

Me: *voids transaction* “Please leave your items on the counter and enjoy your show!”

(She walks off to a manager, calls me uppity, and demands I be reprimanded for refusing to let her touch me. The manager kicked her out without refund.)


This story is part of our Black Lives Matter roundup!

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