Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Being Happy With Your Hair: Part II

Watching Princess Diaries with Sheldon yesterday got me thinking about my lifelong hair issues. If you read my post yesterday then you know that people have often compared me to Anne Hathaway's character before her makeover. I know that when they do this they are referring to the fact that my hair is very voluminous and curly, similar to the character. They intend it as a compliment. In fact many people compliment me on my hair. Yet I have never been happy with it. I have always been frustrated with my fair for its unruliness, for its sheer volume, for its colour, texture, length...anything. I will find any number of reasons to be at war with my hair. Well, I finally want to address this. Maybe blogging about it will help me figure out where all of this angst is coming from. Welcome to my hair problems, Friends. 

When Did the Hair-Angst Begin? 
I remember a few very early hair-related incidents. I vividly remember my other sitting me down on a nearly daily basis to fix my hair. I would sit on a stool wedged between her knees while she sat on the closed toilet seat or a kitchen chair. She would use a brush and try to detangle my hair or put hair clips in it. It was excruciatingly painful. I would squirm and make noises of discomfort. My mother's knees pretty much acted as a brace to keep me from darting away. It was rough for both of us.

I also remember how older ladies would comment on my hair as though I couldn't hear them. One day I was getting out of the car for school with my daddy and one female teacher said something along the lines of, "Just look at her curls. Her mother wraps her finger around them and it just stays like that. How precious." I remember feeling very self-conscious about those kind of comments. They alway made me feel uncomfortable that someone was talking about me and not to me. I was also not at all interested in hair, so I felt surprised that people were interested in me for that reason.

When Did I Start Getting Jealous of Straight Hair?
I don't think that it occurred to me to be jealous of girls with straight hair until I was a little older, maybe seven or eight years old. I was more interested in drawing pictures and playing outside. But later I remember being mesmerised by other girl's hair. I loved how they could have pony tails that swished when they moved their heads fast. I liked how their hair lay flat and how they could look good in pigtails. Whenever I tried to wear pigtails they looked like big floofy masses of hair on either side of my face. 

The knowledge that my hair did not do the same things that other girls hair did, was always somewhat clear to me, although I didn't spend a lot of active brain time thinking about it. Like I said, i was more focused on other things. It was a latent knowledge of being different. I had other reasons for being different that were not all hair-related. My parents were different from my friends parents. My mom didn't cook the foods my friend's moms did. She made Indian food and Pakistani food and Korean food. We did not have a television. My hair being different was just another thing which separated me from the other kids. 

Now those differences actually are very special to me. They help to define my childhood and they shaped who I am as an adult who loves Korean food and spits on televisions. Just kidding. My family and I watch a lot of shows, even though we still don't own an actual TV. I also know that I am not the only one who felt different as a kid. What were those things for you? What did you think was really weird back then, but you now appreciate?

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