Black women have faced microaggressions, harassment, and even legislation about their hair for ages.
The chignon and tignon laws of the 18th century - laws which dictated how Black and mixed race women were allowed to wear their hair (the law specified 'Negras', 'mulattas, and 'quarteronas') - may no longer be official, but the mindsets and malicious misconceptions that fueled them are clearly still alive and well.
The news is filled with articles about people facing harassment and/or being treated poorly over their hair.
This is yet another one.
Samantha Clarke is a nurse who has been working at a doctors office for quite some time, long enough to have built up a rapport with her regular patients. Recently, one of those regular patients took it upon herself to insult Samantha's hair, but the nurse - who happened to not be on the clock at the time - had had enough.
So she clapped back hard and told TikTok all about it.
On this particular day, the doctor offered to pay for lunch on the condition that Samantha goes to pick it up. That sounded fair enough to Ms. Clarke, so once the order was placed and there was a break in the patients, Samantha grabbed her keys and headed out to her car.
As she walked through the lot, she passed a regular patient who was on her way in. The patient didn't recognize her at first, but eventually it clicked and they exchanged a brief greeting, after which Samantha told the patient that she could to ahead to the office.
That's when things got interesting.
Rather than go on to the office, the patient gave Ms. Clarke a once over and decided to comment on her hair, which is in microbraids.
For those not in-the-know, let's have a little Hair 101 side moment: Microbraids are a protective hair style where the persons natural hair is braided along with additional hair into very small braids. So small that one might call them "micro."
Yeah it's a pretty spot-on name.
The incredibly labor intensive style can take hours (sometimes days!) to do, and the end result looks and moves similarly to straight hair. It can be styled similarly as well, keeping the natural hair protected and making the wearers daily life much easier .
Samantha had her microbraids up in a high bun when the encountered the parking lot patient, who just couldn't keep her comments to herself. As she explains in the video, the patient offered her unprompted opinion on Ms. Clarkes braids.
It wasn't just that she offered up an opinion nobody asked for, it was also how she offered it up.:
"She looks at me and she goes, ‘You know, I never liked braids. I think they’re inappropriate for the workplace. They give off Medusa.' ”
Samantha was understandably taken aback, but also she wasn't on the clock and under no obligation to give a "customer service" response.
So she didn't. Instead, she met rude with rude and clapped back. Hard.
"So knowing that my Black ass was off the clock, I looked at her and said, ‘Huh. Well, you know what else is inappropriate? Coming to the doctor and smelling like you just ran a 10K, because it gives off stinky ass. Have a good day.' ”
You can watch her video about the whole encounter (and peep her "inappropriate" hairstyle) here:
So ... that microaggression over microbraids turned into a mega smackdown for that patient.
Samantha nonchalantly munched her way through some snacks while she recounted the tale to TikTok with the unbothered brilliance of a woman who has heard this foolishness a thousand times before and is dramatically bored with it.
TikTok loves a happy ending.
We don't know if the patient complained to the doctor about Samantha's response, but we can't imagine it went well for her if she did.
How would you respond to someone offering such a rude and unprompted opinion about you?