i normally wear my hair up in a bun because it's easy and i don't like my hair to touch my face. if you know me, you know my hair is super curly. yesterday i wore my hair down at school and the kindergarters FREAKED OUT when i walked in the door in the morning. i'm talking like each one of them audibly gasped and stared at me for an extended period of time. some of them screamed and pretended like they were afraid of me. one girl started touching it and playing with it. that was way more annoying than i would have thought it would be. another girl told me i was pretty twice throughout the course of the morning. it was so funny and cute to see all of their extreme reactions to my normal hair that i decided to leave my hair down all day to see what reactions i would get from the elementary and middle school kids.
my first afternoon class is fourth graders. literally every single one of them loudly gasped when they saw me. i could tell that they were talking about my hair and one girl goes, "teacher, judy say you are witch." i'm like "...um??" then judy goes, "no! teacher looks like rapunzel witch." i guess the witch from tangled?
a (normally really sweet) third grade girl told me, "teacher, hair is not good." i said, "what??" and she said it again. koreans are just more direct about some things than we are back home.
some sixth graders and middle school first graders (seventh grade in america) were convinced it was a wig. some of them could not fathom that it was my natural hair. they thought it was a perm. it was a bit exhausting by the end of the day, to be honest. i can't even imagine how black people deal with it. koreans aren't used to seeing anything non-korean, so they are genuinely shocked, and not trying to be rude, but still...
on the other hand, i was told that i am pretty or beautiful about 20 times throughout the course of the day, so that makes up for the (albeit not intentionally) negative comments.
between classes, a second grade middle schooler whose english name is mary screamed and ran up to me. "teacher! hair is [korean word i don't know]!" then she made a gesture that looked like "shocking." i looked up shocking in my dictionary, but it wasn't the same as the word she said. she asked some other second grade girls. one said, "unique." i thought, "oh, that's cool." but mary didn't think that's what she meant. she looked it up in her phone. she showed me a screen that said a bunch of words like "surprising" but then said, "aaah, no!" she asked a korean teacher who said, "she thinks your hair is very surprising." funny how i basically figured out exactly what she meant just from the gesture, but the whole exchange took at least five minutes. she really wanted to make sure i understood how shocking my hair was! lol.