Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” was an anthem for not only black people, but also the POC experience. It formed into words the anger & disgruntled existence of so many POC that feel the overbearing, crushing weight to conform and act the “white way”. We are all individuals. We have our own styles, thoughts, and general ways of being that are often times quieted and invalidated by white supremacist ideals or the patriarchy. For me, hair was a metaphor for our essence & the culture that so many POC readily carry with them at all times. “Don’t Touch My Hair” was a much needed vocalization of ideas & ideals that should be common sense.
“Don’t touch my hair
When it’s the feelings I wear, Don’t touch my soul
When it’s the rhythm I know, Don’t touch my crown
They say the vision I’ve found
Don’t touch what’s there, When it’s the feelings I wear.”
Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” is a reiteration of India Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair” , because you obviously weren’t listening the first time.
As women of color, we often feel the pressure to conform; to straighten our hair, whiten our hair, ignore our culture, our natural beauty, and the history that comes with our crowns. However, in a world that values white ideals over ours, it is important to be ourselves, unapologetically. We must not forget where we come from, we must stand up for ourselves, our family, our friends, our hair.
Solange created an anthem, and an album, for us, and people like us, pouring out our afflictions and bringing forward our grievances, and motivations, from living our experiences. This album brings us back to moments of our lives when our skin, our bodies, and our presence made others uncomfortable, or feel the need to poke and pry, because we do not conform to white ideals. However, the historical, and even present, policing of our hair can stand no longer.
“You know this hair is my shit.”
Photographer: Bethony Harnden
HMUA: Maiya Evans
Models: Jazmyn Griffin, Ariana Garcia, April Owusu
Styling: Melina Perez