The last couple of days have been fairly uneventful; the kids are behaving and the animals have been involved in no tomfoolery (knock wood!) so I really have nothing to blog about. So I checked out the NaBloPoMo October Writing Prompts and found this: Do you look similar or very different from how you looked ten years ago? My answer would be very different.
For one thing, teenagers and poor genetics have been wreaking havoc on my appearance for the last couple of decades. And then there’s my hair…
When I was little, I wanted long, beautiful hair. So much so, in fact, that I had a little white half slip that I wore on my head as a wig, and that was my princess hair. (I think my family finally stopped teasing me about this a year or so ago, thank god.) The problem was that under that white half slip there was fine, limp, stick-straight hair that resisted the defying of gravity, and for a girl living in the South and growing up in the seventies and eighties, this was a horrible fate. Remember big hair? While I’m pretty sure it’s still sort of a thing in the South, it reigned supreme in its heyday and I wanted it bad.
So in an attempt to look like this:
I used a lot of these:
And a lot of this:
But always ended up looking like this:
The nineties rolled around and I was preoccupied with raising babies and surviving Navy life with a husband who was on sea duty more often than not, so hair fell to the bottom of my priority list. In fact, appearance plummeted off the list altogether. Pony tales became my friend. After the birth of my last daughter, however, in a fit of I’m still not quite sure what, I went to the salon and had the beautician cut that pony tale mess off, leaving me with one of those cute, flip-up short styles. It was cute, but still a lot of work, so a few weeks later I went back.
“Can you make me look like Annie Lennox?” I asked her. “Who’s Annie Lennox?” she asked me. “Oh god,” I said.
We looked through her hairstyle books, figured out what I wanted, and she cut the rest of my shame off and left me with something like this:
My children were shocked. My husband, who has a thing for long hair, was horrified. “Oh honey!” he exclaimed in a dismayed tone. I didn’t care. It’s my hair, and I never looked back. In fact, I went a little shorter, so short in fact that when I have a fresh haircut it’s almost as short as my husband’s hair. It’s very liberating. For a long time I feel like I used my hair to cover up flaws, perceived or real. Big hair would call attention away from a high forehead, a big nose, not feeling pretty enough, but trying to achieve big hair made me feel more insecure about myself than all those other things combined. I still sometimes feel a twinge of jealousy when I see women with awesome hair; who wouldn’t want that? This is me, though. My hair is my hair, and this is the best I can do with it and it’s good enough. It’s weird and it’s a little brave, and I’m happy with it.