Natural Hair, White Dudes And Black Power Fists

by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

Maybe it’s just my experience, but being a natural haired woman has definitely come with more than a handful of “interesting” experiences with the opposite sex- specifically White guys. When my hair was relaxed, I was approached by Black men and non-Black men in about the same ratio. All my life, I’ve dated men of different races and ethnicities. And before I went natural, I can’t really recall a time when a White guy ever seemed self-conscious about asking me out- with the exception of an Italian boy in middle school, who was super cute, looked just like the kid from A Bronx Tale, and prefaced his nervous invitation to the Winter Formal with: “You know Italian people are really Black?”

Well, since going natural, I’ve noticed a definite shift in male attention. First and foremost, I now get approached more by non-Black men than Black men. And second, since going natural I’ve lost count of how many White guys have approached me, asked me out, but prefaced their approach with something along these lines: “I think you’re beautiful. But you probably don’t date White guys.”

And just this past week I was at the library and caught a glimpse of a White guy staring at me. I smiled and after a few minutes, he came over to talk. We talked and mildly flirted. And just like the many White guys before him, he seemed attracted but then sheepishly asked: “Can I get your number? I’d love to take you to dinner sometime. But you probably don’t date white guys, huh?”

It’s quite funny and apparently I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. I’ve heard similar experiences from many other natural haired women. It’s made me wonder if natural haired women have a certain “look” that says: “I stick to my own race.” I’ve asked men (Black and White) to offer their insight as to why this could be happening. And quite a few stated that they felt natural hair on a Black woman symbolized or exuded a certain level of “afrocentrism.”

So that just further makes me wonder if being natural haired makes some white dudes (or people in general) think I’m going to throw up the Black Power Fist at any moment. LOL.

Has this ever happened to you ladies? Have you noticed a shift in the type/race of men that approach you now that you’re natural? And have these men (most likely because of your “look”) ever made the assumption that you probably weren’t interested in dating interracially? Please share- I’d love to read your experiences!

If you’d like to send a comment/question to Dr. Phoenyx Austin, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Phoenyx Austin is a writer, media personality, and physician who shares her thoughts on natural hair and wellness.