Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hair! By: Karen Pilarski

A college chum recently noticed how long my dark brown hair has become. 

What a feelings for the soft mane to dangle down to the middle of my back. 

A woman's hair is as important as the polish on her nails and the shoes on her feet. It makes the package complete.

As little girls, my sister and I yearned for long hair. Short hair made us appear to be tomboys. For some reason my mom put a cold metal salad bowl over my head and hacked my hair.
Oh how the sobbing ensued! 

My younger sister *Ann invented games to play. We pretended we were characters from the 80's show “Inspector Gadget”. I played Penny, who had blonde long ponytails. Ann said she was someone named Quansoka.  Ann apparently invented names as well. 

If a younger brother insisted on playing we made him be the dog, Brain. It was the 80's and everyone was obsessed with wild untamed hair. In my girlhood we had Bon Jovi and hair bands (Warrant, Whitesnake and Tesla). Even the men were able to grow their hair out! 

Since this was puberty, Ann and I were obsessed with cartoons. All the rage was “Jem and the Holograms”. She had layered pink hair and red flashing earrings. Oh, she was truly outrageous! Then there was Barbie and Princess of Power. Everyone seemed to have luminous, silky strands of hair.  

Besides imitating cartoons, Ann and I would put long shirts on our heads as if we actually had long hair. Looking back my face is flushed with embarrassment. Our oldest sister would howl with laughter. The oldest *Amanda would blow her brown hair out and dye it different colors sporadically.

Her bangs were curled, teased and hiked up sky high. There was a contact high from all the hair spray she used just on her bangs. 

Amanda was into Tiffany who was a popular singer in the decade of colors and sparkles. Tiffany had flaming red hair. Amanda dyed her hair red to emulate the pretty singer. I yearned for the feathered engine red long tresses.  

My hair grew at a snail's pace. My mom decided I should now wear ponytails. She yanked and pulled my short dark hair into two ponytails secured with rubber bands. She didn't believe in hair ties. Every last strand felt like it was being ripped from my scalp. 

Oddly enough it felt satisfying to feel the ponytail hit my face. I would whip my head back and forth to feel the smooth hair flying and tickling my neck. I desperately wanted my hair to grow beyond my chin. I would tilt my head back to feel wet strings of hair make contact with my upper back. Of course the oldest sister thought this was amusing too.

My mom used to make me wear saddle shoes and hideous sundresses with fruits on it. She even made me wear bell bottoms. To my horror the kids would tease me by screaming "Ding dong."

Through my teens and twenties I experimented with my locks.

 I cut it super short and dyed it black. When working as a cashier a little girl pointed and said "Look mommy, Posh Spice!" The Spice Girls were a big deal during the late 90’s. Although a close family friend, Pedro thought it looked good. Thanks for having my back man!  

My hair has been red, purple, black and unfortunately blonde. Someone had a good idea to bleach my hair in order to make my hair a hot red shade. 

I was living in the college dorms at the time. A maintenance person noticed the blonde tresses while on the elevator to get a soda. He said the blonde look hurt his corneas.
 At some point I was warned if I kept dying my hair it would fall out from all the abuse and chemicals.

Now in my thirties my hair is long but ironically I want to chop it off. Previous boyfriends begged me not too.
Maybe men and women share the same belief about hair. While it is merely decorative, it completes the look of a person.

 I feel the same emotions about clothes. I choose how to represent my physical self into the world. On occasion I still wear my hair in (low hanging) ponytails or in a braid. Is it a throwback to my younger days or just plain laziness?

 It is my choice how I want to look, whether it is a bowl cut, Cher’s hair or Whoopi Goldberg's dreads.
For me I don't think of my hair as a symbol of femininity. It is a source of freedom and creativity.
Anyway you want to wear it.

Tiffany "Feelings of Forever"