Dec 13, 2011

Discussion: The Awkward Compliment

What do you do when you receive awkward compliments about your hair? Take a look at the following examples of rude compliments that present awkward situations:

The self-hate compliment
Picture it. You are running errands and bump into an acquaintance. Your 4b is extremely well-behaved today. Your acquaintance is a natural with type 2-3a hair comes by and compliments your hair. The following conversation occurs:
Her: I love your hair. It's so pretty. It's all curly. I hate my hair."
You: Oh thanks girl. Your hair is fine.
Her:  It doesn't have as much body as yours. Your hair has so much body. I really wish my hair was curlier. I could do so much more with it. Your little curls are so cute. Not like this old limp hair of mine.

The backhanded compliment
Picture it. You are  [insert public place here]. Your hair is blown out. It's huge and you are loving it. Someone you haven't seen since going natural, or who is ignorant about natural hair comes up to you. The following conversation occurs:
Her: Wow. Look at your hair!
You: Yeah. I'm natural now.
Her: Um, this is all yours?! [as she reaches in to feel your scalp]
You: Yep. It's all me. [as you move away]
Her: Oh. I could never do the whole natural thing. I always think it looks dirty and unkempt. But it's cute on you.
You: ...... Thanks?
Her: Yeah. Plus I think that nappy hair smells bad. It's probably hard to clean. But yours smells like coconuts. What's that? Perfume spray or something?

The ignorant compliment
Picture it. You're in a fast food restaurant. A stranger approaches you.
Her: Your hair is so cute. That's all natural?
You: Thank you. Yes, it's natural.
Her: You know, I've been thinking about going natural.
You: Oh, you should! I'll never go back. I love it.
Her: Yeah. It would be nice to just to get up and not do anything to my hair either*.
*This one especially gets awkward when you took extra time to style your hair that day. Ma'am... do you realize... [sigh]

Did I forget any awkward compliments? How would you handle these situations?
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