Sunday, March 28, 2010

I wake up every morning, walk out of my room, and my mom always tells me my hair's grown. It makes me smile.

I woke up yesterday morning and thought, "Today is a good day to go out with my new hair... or lack of it."

So I did. Shaking, palms sweating, and feeling slightly nauseated, but I bared my head to the world. I got in the car with my mom and went to Big Lots. It took me at least 5 minutes to get up the courage to get out of the car and actually go in the store.

And you know what? Even though it took me at least 10 minutes to stop shaking, nobody gave me a second glance. True, I didn't run into anyone my own age, but considering that most of the people shopping that morning were senior citizens who didn't seem to mind my hair, how bad could the reaction from a bunch of teenagers be, right?

I know, who am I kidding. My generation may be said to be more tolerant than any other, but whoever is saying that obviously has never been to my hometown. But I'll muddle through somehow. I always do.

Oh, and my friend that made me cry? He called back the next night and apologized heavily for what he said. And I accepted, because I know he didn't mean his comments how I took them. To him, I'm just one of the guys, which is a small sort of accomplishment, I suppose.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day Four: Love It!

It's been half a week since I took clippers to my hair, and I think I've finally adjusted to it. It's a bit of a shock at first, I'm not going to pretend it's not; I keep comparing it to going platinum blond from black or vice versa. Every time you look in the mirror you don't recognize yourself, just because the change is so significant. I believe it's called 'color shock', so I supposed I must have 'absence of color shock', since there's nothing there! XD I have adjusted faster than to any color change I've ever gone through, maybe because there's nothing 'framing' my features that's noticeably different.

Yesterday, I was laying around my house trying on all of my huge earrings to see which ones look best with my head, when I came across a notion in my mind that I'm going to set into motion as soon as I can get to my local Wal-Mart. (I hate shopping there, but in a town this small... There's no other option :( ) I am going to go completely CG. I only found the CG method after I had already started dyeing my hair, and it was so fried by that point that I needed the 'cones to smooth all the damage and prevent my hair becoming a ball of frizz. But all the hair attached to my head now is brand-new, pristine, and soft as can be. So I'm going to treat it like I should have treated my hair years ago, and make sure it's healthy, hydrated, and free of any nasty chemical build-up. It's not going to be a huge change from the modified-CG I was using (mainly I was using 'cone-filled conditioners, and I was shampooing maybe once a week), but hopefully the change in my hair's health will be significant.

Right now, my hair is 1/8" long, so I don't need a leave-in, gel, etc., but when I do, here is my plan.

-Co-wash: Suave Naturals Coconut (I was already using this)
-Conditioner: Garnier Triple Nutrition
-Leave-In: Suave Naturals Coconut
-Gel: Aloe Vera Gel (I was already using this as well)

Maintenance on hair this short is really easy, but I found out yesterday that I must wash it every day. I thought that short = almost no maintenance, but towards the end of the day, my scalp was itching like crazy from all the oil build-up. My hair is so short, the oil has nowhere to go, so it stays on the scalp and irritates the skin. So I co-washed it with the Suave Naturals, and it stopped itching almost immediately. So I have to throw away all my second-day-hair habits, and start washing it daily until I get some length.

I think since today is so rainy, gloomy, and gray, I may venture to Wal-Mart with my mom. I need vitamins, hair conditioner, and I might see if I can find a microfiber towel to start drying my hair with. I am a little bit afraid to see what the public's reaction will be, but I have to leave the house at some point. So it's off to put on earrings, make up my eyes, and take a few deep breaths...

I'm ready.

- Bonnie

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This was my hair as of two days ago:

...And this is how it looked yesterday afternoon:

I woke up yesterday and realized that my hair was over-processed to the point it didn't want to curl anymore; my ringlets were ruined, and loose waves had taken their place. I haven't seen my natural hair color since the summer of '09, and I miss my curls, my red-and-gold natural highlights, the softness of my natural hair.

So I got a pair of scissors and some hair clippers, and an hour or so later, I had nothing left but about 1/16 of an inch of stubble. Some of it is the blond that it was dyed before, which I'm going to trim off as it grows out, but the very top is the strawberry-blond/auburn color that I've been longing for so much the past few months.

It was a hard decision; luckily I had a lot of support from the members of NaturallyCurly, who understood that it was a big change, but that it'd be a great decision in the long run.

After I cut it, I was surprised at how feminine I felt, how strong. I looked in the mirror and felt as if I was following in the footsteps of generations of powerful women; priestesses, queens, women who knew their worth was not tied to their hair, but to what was under it.

Unfortunately, that feeling was cut short by a phone call from my best friends last night, both of whom are male, and who kept calling me 'Britney Spears', and asking if I looked 'butch', until I was in tears and they were asking me what they'd said that upset me. One of them told me he was just 'busting my balls', to which I retorted, 'Well, I don't have any'. They didn't have an answer for that, so they tried to apologize, but I was crying too hard by this point to even be able to talk. It's the same people who told me I looked butch when I got a pixie cut, and completely killed my self-esteem. See, to them, I'm just one of the guys, and I suppose they think it wouldn't hurt a guy's feelings (personally, I think guys are just better at hiding it; society tells them they have to be, wheras a girl is expected to get emotional. Stupid double-standards...)

So today I'm a little bit of a mess. I keep looking in the mirror and telling myself it'll grow back, that I look beautiful, that I did this for ME and not for anyone else. It's hard when someone you call a friend will blatantly tease you like that when shaving your head is one of the hardest things to do as a women in the society we live in. So much of a woman's 'value' seems to be tied into her hair, her breasts, her hips, instead of who she is as a person. There are women who mutilate themselves with surgeries to make them more 'beautiful', who spend thousands of dollars on makeup, hair dye, and beauty treatments.

Why? I think as long as a woman is confident, has good hygiene, and a mind that's all her own, people should find her attractive. But confidence is hard when every day we are bombarded with pictures of 'ideal' women to compare ourselves to, women who are photoshopped and 'enhanced' to the point of perfection in the eyes of the public.

Those are not real women.

For example, look at America's Next Top Model. Yes, the girls in the house are models, yes they look beautiful on film. But first thing in the morning? Before the makeup for the shoot is done? They are flawed. They have acne, wrinkles, not-perfectly-white teeth, one eye that is bigger than the other. The job of the makeup crew and photographer is to make them look as perfect as possible, to use every trick of flash and lens and eyeliner to get that shot that makes them look like an angel. It's not real, not a bit of it.

And yet, even knowing all this, I am terrified of the idea of venturing out into the world with my shaved head. I am afraid of the judging looks, the pitying looks, the assumptions about my character or my health.

But at the same time, I feel ready. I feel like putting on clothes reminiscent of the D'ni, the people who inhabit the world of the Myst games, and going out feeling like the goddess that I know I am. I want to show the world that I am a woman, and I am not defined by any pre-conceived notion of feminity. I am here, and here I will remain. Confident, bald, and above all else, beautiful.