Whereas my hair (long natural brown hair) can provoke sometimes reactions in some parts of the world (people touching it, asking me if it’s mine, mentioning the fact that some of it is turning white), my partner’s dreadlocks nearly always provokes reactions, wherever we are, even in our home country (Belgium). From simple curiosity (which can go quite far sometimes: in Cuba, a woman set up a whole scheme trying to take a picture of herself with my partner, without him being aware of it) over fear and near panic (in Burkina Faso, at a time where he loosened his hair, some people got very frightened), to straight rejection (in Turkey a number of men came to explain, repeatedly and not always very kindly, that men really couldn’t not wear long hair) and systematic police or custom control, wherever we goes.
Here in Jamaica, where people in the street are called by their most visible characteristic, I’m called « Whitie », whereas my partner is called « Rasta », his hair (and what it could means here) apparently being a more important trait than his skin color.
Véronique, 40’s, Female, Belgium-Jamaica
#Culture #CulturalPerception #Gender #Stereotype