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Lim Ruey Yan
The Straits Times
Oct 26, 2022
American singer Kelis, who was in Singapore recently, was caught in an awkward situation during her visit.
A video that the 43-year-old posted on Instagram last Saturday shows her braids being touched by two women in a coffee shop.
One of the women asked in Mandarin if the braids were permed hair, to which the second woman answered: “Probably.”
A man off-screen remarked: “Very straight hair.”
Kelis then turned to touch the second woman’s hair, as the woman gave her a thumbs-up.
The first woman touched Kelis’ braids again, saying: “So long.”
Kelis’ companion, who was filming the encounter and was not seen in the video, said: “Just embrace it.”
Kelis replied sarcastically: “Oh, I like to be touched.”
She captioned the video: “I don’t even know what to say here.”
Several netizens praised Kelis for reacting to the incident graciously, with some saying they would not allow strangers to touch their hair.
“You handled this well. I just hate when ppl (sic) touch my hair. This ain’t no petting zoo,” said one netizen.
“Your patience is evolved,” said another person who added, “my instinct is to always pop the hand” as if dealing with a mischievous child.
Other netizens noted that it was not common for Singaporeans to “go around feeling the hair of others” and that, judging by their accents, the two women could be from China.
Kelis, whose full name is Kelis Rogers-Mora, was part of the line-up for the Mandala Weekender 2022 during the Formula One Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix race weekend from Sept 30 to Oct 2, in which she performed on the first night.
She is known for the tracks Milkshake and Trick Me from her 2003 album Tasty.