Today, I got told by a man, dressed in a very nice suit, who was about 60, that he liked my “coif.” I laughed to myself after he complimented me. Then I thought about it some more….my how times have changed….
I have been coloring my hair in shades that don’t normally grow on heads for about 15 years. And let me just say, I should NOT be old enough to be doing anything for 15 years! Right? Well, anyway… I’ve done almost every color you can imagine. Red, purple, lime green, hot ass pink….I’ve only steered away from yellow and orange, as those would not be good looks for me. And in that time, I’ve had people (pretty much always adults) shout assorted nasty comments to me. “Hey! It’s not Halloween!” or “Did you get attacked by a Smurf?” That one, by the way, I do use as a snide comeback if someone asks me why my hair is blue…. Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of things. Kids whispering to their parents…”Mommy! Her hair is green!” To which they often reply something like “Yes. Don’t stare,” or “I don’t know why someone would do that.” I ave no beef with the kids questioning my look. I have issues with the parents response. Go ahead. Stare. Do you really think my hair is colored to Rainbow Brite’s biggest fantasy so that I would blend into the wall? Nope. I like the attention. It’s fun. Until people get nasty. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But would I ever walk up to someone who is too big for jeggings and say “Hey, your ass? It’s like H-U-G-E in those pants!” Never.
But this was all happening some time ago. I did take a bit of a funky-hair-hiatus when I was having y kidlings. Didn’t want to do the whole dye while pregnant thing, though there is a lot of dispute as to whether or not there is something to be concerned about. I just decided to take the safe road. And, since I dye my hair myself, I really couldn’t imaging hunching over my bathroom sink with a basketball for a belly.
But since the kids are older, I have since gone back to the unusual color choices I’ve made in the past for my hair. And by the way, yeah, my kids love it. Whenever Phoenix draws a picture of me, he is quite intent on putting a lovely teal streak in the front of my hair. And since I began this whole wacky color thing, the reactions from people have changed so drastically. It went from -stay away from the freak- to -where do you buy your color? It’s pretty crazy. And I think it’s great. In a time where Monster High Dolls (ie: me in high school/college) are all the rage, I have finally been a bit more accepted for my once-extreme look.
Now we are in a time where Crayola is manufacturing little faux hair clips for girls in raging colors of purple, pink, and turquoise. I know because Rhi got a set from Laura Boyd, and she loves to have her hair match “Mommy’s” now. How cool is it that the outcast is becoming more mainstream? Yes, I could play devil’s advocate and say, “well now you don’t stand out anymore…what will you do?” And to that I reply, I am who I have always been. I didn’t dye my hair for shock value (ok…maybe I did a little!), I did it because I love how it looks. How it looks on me. It’s fun, and I’m an artist…so why not show it off? But over the years (the many, many years) some things about me have changed…and others haven’t. Using my hair as a funky accessory is one of the things that hasn’t changed. It’s not a “phase” as I distinctly recall an ex-boyfriend naming it as such. It’s not to be trendy. It’s just who I am.
Since I chopped off 14 inches almost a year ago, I have gotten a ton of compliments. It really is rather surprising. I sometimes wonder…was my hair that bad before? Or is the short hair just that much better? Anyway, people are always telling me how much they love the color. And these folks are not just the teens I see at the mall, or the young kids I see at my children’s school. These are the suits. They semi-conservatives. The people that, 10 or 15 years ago, would have steered their children away from me. Part of that could be because my clothes aren’t quite so goth anymore. But a lot of it sure had to do with my hair. And I think it’s awesome that those folks have changed their tune. That they whisper to me how they wish they could get a pink streak of their own. That they are sad that their kids don’t want them to do something so “cool.” I think it’s fantastic.
Here’s to the freaks. Here’s to the trailblazers. Here’s to those that can change their tune and no longer discriminate. Here’s to the rainbow. And all the horses of different colors.