While I was in Chicago last week for a conference, I had a strange encounter. As I was unloading my luggage from the airport shuttle van, the driver walked over to me and rubbed his finger against my forearm. He said, “Oh, nice. I bet not many men would tell you that.” I’m pretty sure he was referring to the hair on my arm, which is a bit on the dark/thick side. I was shocked, and didn’t respond, but started to walk away immediately.

I felt a bit violated, to be honest; it always bothers me when people feel compelled to make personal comments to complete strangers, anyway, and I couldn’t figure out what I’d said or done to lead to this backhanded “compliment.” I felt self-conscious for the rest of the day; being alone in an unfamiliar city was challenging enough.

Has anyone had experiences of other people commenting directly to you about your hair?

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