I will always and forever find it incredibly absurd how political hair is (Spoiler alert: I find most things absurd. Absurd is the word. Shout out to my boy Camus).
Nothing bothers me quite like someone being like “I’m looking for the redhead of my dreams”. Like, what, you’re just going to ignore someone who might be the love of your life over what amounts to a $20 box of pharmacy hair color? I mean its one thing to find something visually pleasing, its quite another to commodify people in that fashion. Especially in the time of whatever happens on Tinder. I’ll let y’all know when I actually swipe right (well, it happened once. I got a match. I opened with a dick joke and was met with silence. Still convinced its not me, just everyone else).
I mean, I love a good beard (its a lingering thing for the piratey-rogue types…) but its not like I shut people down for what they decide to do with their own goddamn face. People are dynamic in a multitude of capacities, so it stands to reason appearance should be dynamic as well.
I’m not above the ‘hair says a lot about a person’ mentality. I used to be very anti-blonde, but admittedly due to a heaping spoonful of internalized misogyny that comes in a free travel size tube with a White American™ middle class upbringing. Adolescence can be very insular (ask me about when I thought cotton candy colored synthetic dreads were a good idea, along with warehouse raves I found out about on AOL chat rooms), and I feel like a lot of people grow up and never really question why they have their specific parameters of ‘normal’. Its incredibly easy to fall victim to messages that are thinly veiled as wisdom but are actually just trying to sell you a product, or reinforce some sort of weird cultural imperative.
Plus, I was only doing myself a disservice. I do make a pretty cute blonde.
All pretty scathing observations from a queer lady with a perennial side shave, for sure. But linear reasoning is just so… I don’t know. I like to imagine that everyone’s appearance is a tapestry of a rich inner life that goes unexplored by strangers due to associations made in pop culture, but not by actual experiences. I feel like we miss out. And for some of us, I feel like we connect.
Admittedly, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about acknowledging the effort and effect of someone who went through a successful double process color. Shits expensive. The effort and attention to aesthetic is noted. Also making girls smile is something all other girls should do on the regular. Like yeah girl you did it for yourself, but I see you and you look great. My internal monologue is continually screaming “YEEEESSSS GET IT!” but I keep it inside. Usually.
Is that creepy? I feel like thats creepy. Maybe I’m just overcompensating for being a shitty teenager, who knows.
Point being that despite my interest and radar for what I consider good/cute/interesting hair, I don’t then apply any sort of value judgement or assumptions to people other than that they have time and energy that I am somewhat envious of. Its not like I feel everyone should have the prerogative to look their personal best at all times, thats absolutely ridiculous. I’m not above running to the bodega in my pajamas and bedhead. I’m also not unaware that there are other cultural imperatives about hair (religious and otherwise) that people value. You wouldn’t ask a Dothraki to cut his own braid, would you?
So personally, I change my hair. Often. Because its just hair! To me, changing your hair is like changing an outfit. It would be incredibly silly to expect people (women, especially) to wear the same thing every day just so you can recognize who they are, or act like it defines their personality.