1. “OMG Your hair is so poofy, can I touch it?”
I know you might be tempted to reach out and touch, but this is typically an invasion of privacy unless you are on best friend terms. I sometimes wear my hair natural (curly) and actually had a few — like 10+ — people ask me if they could touch my hair. There were also people who would skip asking and touch it anyway. I get that you think black natural hair is cool and not what you see every day because some black women wear it straight, but you can easily make a black woman feel like some science experiment, freak of nature, or animal in the zoo. Be sensitive or just give her an actual compliment like “I love your hair.”
I know some white girls like doing fishtail braids on each other and maybe it’s normal to reach in for a grab, but with black women it’s a little different. They don’t want to feel singled out because they’re wearing the hair god gave them. No touchy.
2. “Is that a weave/extensions or your real hair?”
If someone is wearing extensions, they usually have the high hopes that it looks real. The reality of the situation is everyone’s weave might not be as bangin’ as Gabriel Union’s or Beyonce’s, but there is no polite way to ask this if you are not close with someone. Even if her hair doesn’t look real, don’t ask her, especially in a public social setting. Also, why is it any of your business what a woman does with her hair? Some black women just have naturally long hair and it’s ignorant to assume anything past shoulder length on a black woman is fake. It’s also considered a protective style for women with naturally curly hair so they don’t have to put heat on their hair every day.
3. “Wow, you are basically not black.”
What you are saying is “Oh wow, you are not like the stereotypical ghetto black girl I see on Bad Girls Club or on Cops.” This is rude, even though some people think it’s some type of compliment. Whenever I hear this, I wonder what a white girl would think if someone said “wow, you are so not white! You’re not like the trailer trash I see on T.V.” See, it’s offensive. Rethink before you say this.
4. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to tan.”
We still tan in the sun, but don’t typically go out of our way to do so. It’s not lucky that are skin is brown — we were just born as golden goddesses.
5. “CAN YOU TEACH ME HOW TO DANCE?” “CAN YOU TWERK?”
No, I will not teach you how to dance spontaneously. Yes it is true most black girls have some sense of rhythm. It’s just in our African blood; however, it’s not fun being at parties and having people surround you waiting for you to dance. I don’t go up to the first Asian person I see and ask them to help me with math. Why? Because it’s offensive.
6. “Why do black women have attitudes? Why are you all mad and loud?”
Oh wow, how original. Next are you going to ask me if I’m a strong black woman who don’t need no man? No, all black women do not have attitudes. They are not all mad at the world regardless of who you’ve encountered or seen on T.V. Yes, I will admit that some black women speak a little bit louder than average, but this is a small minority of women. (And so do some women of any other ethnicity. Some women and some people are just loud.)
7. “Does/did your dad live at home with you”
Basically you’re saying that because she came from a black household her daddy wasn’t around. There are dead-beat fathers from every racial background and it’s ignorant to assume black men do not parent. I don’t care how many “statistics” you can provide, it’s never fair to assume all black families are one way.
8. “But, you love Obama right?”
Honestly she probably does, but not all black people like Obama. There was big Obama support by a lot of black voters in 08 because — he was the first black-ish man who made it that close to the White House. It’s ignorant to assume every black person follows Obama solely because of his race. It’s ignorant to assume every black person is a liberal.
9. “I don’t even see you as black, I’m colorblind.”
No you aren’t, shut up. I hate when people say this. Why do you feel the need to strip me of my racial identity? I know you’re trying to tell me here, but when you look at me, you do see my brown skin. You should embrace the differences. Also there’s a slight racist undertone because you definitely probably see yourself as [insert race here.]
10. (To an African-American) “So, what part of Africa are you from?”
If she’s African-American and not first or second generation American there’s a big chance she doesn’t know because of slavery. Unless she went out of her way to take a DNA test, a lot of her family history is left up to story-telling.