Are cornrows, dreadlocks, or afros 'fascinating'? See two women set the record straight.

It's not about curiosity. It's about respect.

Do you think these hairstyles are cool, complicated, awesome, fascinating?

Afros

By zeemanshuis/Flickr.


Cornrows

By Joanita Hafermalz.

Dreadlocks

By cosmic_bandita/Flickr.

Do you wonder how people grow and style them? Well, it's OK to be curious!

But curiosity is one thing. It's another to go up to a person with one of these hairstyles and expect them to answer endless questions about how they do it, if it's even possible to straighten their hair, or if you can touch their hair.

It's frustrating. Not just because being asked the same questions about your hair all the time is annoying no matter who you are, but because it's part of a larger history of women of color, particularly black women, being treated as exotic, as "different" from everyone else and endlessly fascinating. To be treated as a fetish is to be treated as not human.

When people come up to these women to ask them question after question about their hair, they don't feel complimented. They feel put on the spot — kind of like they're in a zoo.

How about we just listen to Zai Sadler and Tova Charles tell it like it is?

There's nothing wrong with loving and admiring a hairstyle. But remember: It's not appropriate to ask every question, nor are you entitled to have every curiosity answered.

After all, that's what Google is for.

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