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No. You Cannot Touch My Hair.

Help us collect 100 stories by October 31st.

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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People have touched my hair either uninvited or without asking permission my whole life. Some people ask, and then have the audacity to question my response when I tell them no! To me it's simple - my body, my choice. I hope this campaign serves to raise awareness, to educate, and promote that we all should have agency.

- Mena

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“There are those that ask at all times touch my hair. After showing restraint, I finally took the decision to speak out against this ‘hair circus’, my hair although different from yours is no cause for your concern!”

- Jeannette Joseph

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“I cannot relate to people asking to touch my hair, it’s my personal space! I’ve been called Macy Gray – people need to stop being so ignorant!”

- Saadye

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“People often ask to touch my hair, it depends on my style, if I wear it down, it happens more.”

- Christelle

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“I was in a shop and this group of girls just came over and started playing with my hair. I asked them to stop but they just laughed at me. I also get asked a lot if people can touch it. I think people need to stop asking to touch my hair, it’s like they think I’m a dog that can be petted – I’m human with feelings!”

- Akira

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“Recently a random woman asked to touch my ‘braids’ – (they’re dreadlocks), before I could respond her elderly mother chastised her saying “you can just touch people’s hair” and lucky for me dragged her away!”

- Elisha

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“My hair changes often, people ask to touch it, it makes angry when people invade my space! I was visiting the republic of Georgia, a crowd gathered around me and began touching my hair – Zoo & Zone!”

- Jackie

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“Ever since I can remember people have asked to touch my hair! The funniest thing I’ve heard was because my dad had dreadlocks was I born with dreadlocks!”

- Kny

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“I've had people ask to touch my hair and invariably they have been white women or non-Caribbean/non-African white men​. And depending on context or where I am in my own life my response can be accommodating or dismissive and curt. But underneath any experience the thing I think is "Weren't you trained about personal space as a child? And where are you from surely you know black people exist and sometimes some of their hair texture is different from yours? Why do you NEED to touch it? Why do you NEED to have this experience and hell where have you been in life that you haven't got one black friend in all your life so that you would have felt their hair way back when and aren't looking to have your "So this is how it feels!" moment.”

- Gaile

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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“Not being asked and people just touching is worse! It’s a property thing. It dates back to slavery for me, when a woman’s mind, body and spirit was owned by a master! She had no agency. I will fight for my agency.”

- Dionne

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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(Gasps) Somebody… touch my hair… me??? Hmmmph they wouldn’t even dare!!!

- Ayiba

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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Age ain't nothing but a number - when it comes to unwanted hair touching. Our campaign is intergenerational and international. We want to hear stories about your children right through to our great grandmothers.

- Mena with Ayiba and Thalia

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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"When my son was five, one day the after school club leader told me happily that in moments of stress she likes to ruffle my sons hair! I nearly did time....."

– Jenny

No. You cannot touch my hair.

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My style can change overnight…. if you ask my permission first, and wait for me to say yes, then I’m actually fine with it!

- Pamela

The ‘No. You Cannot Touch My Hair.’ Campaign is a collection of 100 hair attack stories from women around the world.

NO. YOU CANNOT TOUCH MY HAIR…

Support our campaign:

1. Share your ‘Hair Attack’ story here
2. Buy a t-shirt and tag us in your selfie – buy now
3. Share our campaign link on facebook or twitter #donttouch

NO. YOU CANNOT TOUCH MY HAIR…

We. Need. You!

We aim to raise awareness of, and challenge the social acceptability
of the objectification of black women – focusing firstly on hair.
Help us collect 100 stories by October 31st.

NO. YOU CANNOT TOUCH MY HAIR…

No consent. No invitation

If the perpetrators and bystanders of black hair attacks were aware of the history and significance of black women’s hair, the frequency of everyday micro-aggressions experienced by black women specifically in relation to hair, and had a greater understanding of their role in the fight against racial and gender inequality – they would be able to better understand the impact their actions have on a majority of black women and therefor stop asking, and stop touching black hair without consent or invitation!

TEDx Talks

Mena Fombo will be officially sharing the story with findings from this campaign in her Autumn Tedx Talk in Bristol, 02.11.17

Share your story

Share your story here

 

 

campaign photos by roxene-anderson.com

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