A swarm of people gathered in New York City’s Union Square Park this past weekend to touch black women’s hair.
In what seemed like a captivating idea to spark up a conversation that aims to “demystify the fascinations others have with black hair,” another dialogue was ignited –– one of backlash and dismay, which took the viral world by storm.
An interactive exhibit that displayed black models rocking their au naturel coiffures was curated and executed by Un-Ruly. The exhibition –– where strangers from all walks of life were welcomed with the opportunity to touch various textures of black hair –– caused a bevy of other models to show up on the second day of “You Can Touch My Hair,” in a bold reprisal where the ladies held up signs that read “You CAN’T Touch My Hair.”
Un-Ruly Founder Antonia Opiah wrote in regards to black hair, stating:
Black hair is unique. It requires different care techniques and routines. And in a country where we primarily see commercials for white hair products and magazines that mainly cover white beauty topics and TV shows that mainly feature white characters, we, and those curious about us, have to find information about our hair from other sources.
In response to the exhibit itself, one of the protesters explained to theGrio her concern, saying:
I wanted to strike a balance. I felt very vehemently against putting yourself on display like you’re some kind of a zoo animal. Black people have a history of being property in this country and countries all over the world. To me, this hearkens back to those days. We’re doing it this time. We’re making ourselves objects to be prodded, touched, examined and ogled.
Take a look at our gallery up top, which shows pictures of both sets of models during the art exhibit and let us know…