July 27, 2017
I know, I know–there are more important things to say today than what I am about to, but this is helping me exist in these awful and awe-filled times–but today I am totally in love with my curly hair.
And it has only taken me 55 years (okay, maybe 44 conscious years) to get here where I love my hair. I love the gray in it, I love the curl in it, I love the way I never, ever look professional because my hair knows more about me than I do. And of course, when I say “professional” I mean “polished.”
I grew up in the time of Marcia Brady, that dastardly time when hair was straight and blond and swung more than her hips. (I actually think her hair swung because she didn’t move her hips–did you ever notice that?) Anyway, my ideal of beauty was reinforced with the girls I grew up with who had mothers who instilled in them a sense of duty with regard to their hair. Like, it had to be brushed or something.
I was like a feral child at that time–no brush was going to tame me, until my mother took me to a place that cut off all my hair, my unruly, curly hair. And I came home and my lovely sister (she really is, now, though at the time neither of us was all that kind to each other) said, “You look like Groucho Marx!” The unfortunate thing about that was not that she was being mean, but that she was right. I did.
And so began my hate-affair with my hair that almost culminated with me shaving my head completely in order to just stop fighting with it. Then I met my current hair stylist, who listened to me tell her how low-maintenance I am and how much I don’t want to fight with my hair anymore and so she worked with me, with the curl, and helped me to reconcile with the natural me that is reflected in my natural hair: a little bit loopy and a whole lot of substance. (And if you look at my photo in the sidebar, you can see how I tried to dry the character out!)
So that’s one fight I don’t have to have today so I am able to help slay not the dragons, but those that tether them to old norms, old notions, and ideals that were never attainable in the first place.
So ends this love letter to my hair, who loved me even when I couldn’t love me back.