Black women are being exploited, again. Currently, there is a social media trend of men pulling wigs off of the heads of Black women in public— “as a prank.” After the wig is either purposely blown off with a leaf blower or snatched off, these non-Black men run away, hide, or deny that they did it. Basic human rights such as personal space and respect are being denied.
The interactions recorded show men pulling off wigs and waiting to get a rise out of bypassing Black women—minding their business. These clout seekers post the results with the intention to use Black women, without their permission—to receive views, likes, and comments to boost their content.
There is no evidence stating these men are targeting a particular racial group, however these 15-60 second videos on Instagram, known as “reels,” show non-Black men pulling off wigs of women of color— those that fall victim to the prank are usually by themselves, or in groups of two women. The most-viewed videos display extreme humiliation, as their wig is snatched off and their embarrassment enflamed.
This is an invasion of personal space, and immediately diminishes someone’s confidence. comments found under the videos on social media hold Black women accountable for not securing their hair extensions in place, but there are no visible comments addressing the men, and their intention to humiliate Black women; dedicating their time and energy to recording and editing reels to highlight provoked aggravation coming from Black women.
There have been multiple movements, signs and songs confirming the importance of respecting Black women and their hair. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Black women must constantly defend their space, often people of other races touch an afro, a curl, or braid that did not belong to them. They reach without permission and touch hair that is attached to someone else’s head.
The question remains, how many times must one be reminded – Black people are not a novelty item! Leave Black women’s hair alone!