The Hair Effect

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The Hair Effect


I was born in England to Nigerian parents so you can imagine that as a child, my hair didn’t move fluidly like the Caucasian friends that usually surrounded me. Instead, thick with a coarse texture that made it rather difficult to comb, it was motionless.

I attended an elementary school in London where there were few blacks. I wasn’t necessarily aware of observing my friend’s tresses that freely blew in the wind or when they suddenly flicked it from their faces with a with a quick dismissive upward nod; I was conditioned by it.

Naturally, I grew to imitate their hair movements as if I was a Caucasian too. It didn’t matter that I was African with a static mop on my head. During the Christmas season at age eight, I was invited mt mom's large, corporate, workplace party. My mum gathered my hair into a small bunch and placed a topknot over it to enhance the bun. The Knott of hair partly dislodged during the party and hung down over my face. Oblivious to stares I jumped at the chance to apply the moves I’d been conditioned with for years rather than try to pin it back into place.

I flicked that thing left and right off of my eyes with quick head nods. I gave it quick swipes with my hand and did all the things I’d seen done by other white kids over the years. A girl who sat in the row behind me whispered to the others next to her:

“Look,” she said, pointing at me, “she’s got a wig on.”

I was too young to care. Besides, I was having a blast!

Did you ever stop to consider how much the racial minorities in Europe and the US are oblivious of the influences ingrained into them? This is caused by the multitude of Caucasian images absorbed every day. Is it any wonder, that many African, African-Americans and other minorities mimic the hair of their Caucasian counterparts.


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