The Eighth Wonder of the World
What you starin’ at?!
I see you –
Gawkin’ at me.
And my hair.
5 One eye narrow and slim.
Reminds me of the bottom of an empty Capri Sun juice pouch.
Man, do I miss those.
That barely chilled,
10 Lemonade tastin’,
Flimsy straw having ass
On a hot summer’s day.
Yeah, that was the good stuff right there.
Why when I look over,
Yo other eye is bulging out like you done seen something you ain’t suppose to?
Like you done seen yo grandmammy naked or something?
You alright man?
20 You straight?
I get it. I know why.
Me and my hair intrigues you, huh?
25 Well why you ain’t just say that, boo?
Nah, now I’m just kidding. I know why you ain’t say nothin’.
Well now chile,
Let me give you a lil insight about it.
30 If you want that is.
Do you want?
Well, I guess you do.
Cause you still reading –
Shrinks when wet.
Like pinecones driftin’ near the Oregon coast.
40 Like one of those lil slinky toys for kids –
That one from Toy Story, was my favorite.
But when it ain’t wet,
There is an endless number of styles we can wear it in.
45 Or, no style at all.
To wear or not to wear?
I ask myself that question every mornin’ when I look in the mirror.
It really only takes me a matter of seconds
50 Before I’m runnin’ and jumpin’ for that
Brush and curl cream, honey.
I could ask you again.
But I won’t.
55 Cause I know what you starin’ at.
And my hair.
Cause a Black woman’s hair
Was meant and designed to be stared at
60 In amazement and wonder.
I know chile –
It intrigues me too.
Tonia is a sophomore studying English education and Black studies. In this work, she uses her experiences as a young Black woman to illustrate a prominent social challenge concerning Black women's hair. Previously, Tonia was taught the most unforgettable lesson. Her middle school administration had cut out her hair stating that it was "too distracting and too bold." From there on, Tonia started using hair as a form of expression and creativity.
Note: This piece was inspired by my personal experiences but mostly by one of my greatest friends and fellow peer, Athena Williams.