She’Neil Johnson

Side view portrait of a woman with dreadlocks

While I was in Philadelphia, I went into a restaurant to get something to eat. My hair had only been styled the day before, so it was on fleek. As soon as I walked in to pick up my order, a non-Black waiter asked if I was wearing my natural hair. Because I’m sick of getting the same inquiry, I responded yes because it wasn’t real.

“It’s not real to me,” he continues. “It looks great, and most girls around here don’t wear false hair, but it’s hideous.” So I asked myself, “If I had told him it wasn’t my hair, would I have been ugly?”— She’Neil Johnson