This Woman Was Fed Up Of Microaggressions So She Made A Game About It
"For those who touch our hair, this is a moment for your ass to learn that this is not cool."
This is 27-year-old Momo Pixel. She is an art director who currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
Pixel says she's fed up with microaggressions such as white people touching her hair – an experience a lot of black women have endured – so she created a game about it called Hair Nah.
Pixel designed the game herself along with three other people, including an animator and developers. It took 10 months to create.
She told BuzzFeed News she was confident it was a great concept but wasn't sure how well it would do. "I posted 'Hair Nah' on Twitter thinking nothing was going to happen and I was so shocked but proud of the response. It really humbled me," she said.
"I wanted to create something that was fun and had a light feel but it's also serious as hell and I felt like a game would be hilarious for black women. I knew that we would get our lives from it."
She continued: "And then for those who touch our hair, this is a moment for your ass to learn that this is not cool. It's stressful and it's anxiety [-ridden]. I felt this was the best way to explain it."
Speaking about microaggressions, Pixel said: "It's not cool at all to touch someone's hair. It hasn't happened to me all my life... My school was diverse as hell. I moved to Portland, one of the whitest cities in America, and that's when it first happened – I was like 'WTF is this?' People just reaching their hands...
"I felt shocked because you're never prepared for such a thing and also pissed and sometimes I feel shamed... They have no respect for our feelings."
Momo references Solange's 2016 hit "Don't Touch My Hair" in her viral tweet, which has 29,000 likes. The song resonated with a lot of black women and became even more pertinent for Solange when ES Magazine removed a part of her braid for its front cover last month.
Pixel said: "Black women get their hair touched all the time but Solange was the first to put a name to it on a giant scale, but what I will say is that while making the game I was like, man, I know if Solange finds out about this game, she gotta fuck with it."
In Hair Nah the user has to slap away eager hands who want to touch the player's hair as they try to go about their business. So far it's had about 30,000 players, Pixel said.
Once you pick a location, you're ready to play.
In the background of the game, you can hear voices saying things like "so nice", and asking inquisitive questions such as "Is it attached to your head?" and "Can I touch it?".
Pixel said while she was working on the game someone actually touched her hair. "It was crazy. I was in the store working on the game and a cashier lady reached across the conveyor belt to teach my hair," she said. "I was in shock."
The game also allows players to choose from a range of skin tones.
Aaaaand...users can pick different hairstyles and hair textures.
Which people are really appreciating.
It's a big deal as a lot of black women see their lives represented in this game.
Pixel said she was excited to make the game particularly for black women because "we don't have games, that's why I made sure that the shades reflected us".