Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hair today, God-knows-what tomorrow

Today's topic is hair.

How you cut it. How you style it. And sometimes, what it says about you.

Regardless of whether that is your intention.

For example, Z-man got his hair cut yesterday. He's grossly unhappy with the cut (which, at this writing, I haven't seen yet). He made the appointment himself with the woman who has cut his hair (very nicely) for three years.

He also changed the color. According to the Roo-girl, it's red ("he's a ginge," she told me). Eh. Whatever. She assures me it is within the norm ("it's not emo magenta, Mom").

The cut, however, is causing him deep distress, and apparently he was "too embarrassed" (his words) to tell his stylist that he hated it.

He texted me thusly:

"It looks awful. I have to do laundry and I am actually nervous to go where Roo-girl can see it. Easily the worst cut I've ever had."

If he hadn't been so pathetic and sad, I would have laughed out loud at the idea that he didn't want his sister to see his hair in this condition. (Her bedroom is directly across the hall from the laundry room. It's tough to avoid her when washing clothes.)

But the truth of the matter is, he spends almost as much time on his hair as Roo does hers. He's on his second attempt at a color other than his natural light brown. He has a flat iron so he can straighten it (he got MY unruly waviness, that poor creature). He wants the hair to lay "just so." (The photo at left is the previous incarnation from last June.)

What does this say about him?

He cares about his appearance. He wishes to look a certain way and goes out of his way to make sure that happens. And, truth be told, he's a little prissy about it.

Is this a bad thing? I guess not. I tease him mercilessly (because I AM the Evil Mother) about his prissiness as it relates to his sexual orientation.

Fast backward to a week or so ago, when I walked into my house after a long day of work and found something fairly shocking.

At least I found it so.

J-bear had cut her hair.

Now, I have known her since she was 11, and she has always had long hair. Like halfway-down-the-middle-of-her-back long hair. Like I-don't-want-to-cut-it long hair.

Now she doesn't.

And the style she has chosen speaks volumes about her.

I debated long and hard about discussing this here. I even had an indepth conversation about the issue with Wonderhubby, after which I told him that I wanted to write about it.

He shrugged and told me he had no objection.

And so, I present two views of J-bear.


Senior photo, 2008

And after:

You may draw your own conclusions.

And you will be correct.


Tammy Howard said...

I have always given my kids free reign with their hair. They have always been free to explore any color or cut or product that suits their fancy. It's hair. It grows. I won't finance it, but if they can afford it, they can have it. My eldest has taken full advantage of that. Most recent cut is what her hairdresser called a punk pixie and she colored it a sort of red/purple which is more subtle than it sounds on her dark hair. It is adorable. Youngest wears hers long and straight. Hubs wears his long and that does indeed make a statement. I have gotten tired of fussing with mine. I have a non-do. I would love to have cute hair, but I'm just way too lazy to dedicate time to it on a daily basis. And oh, it would require time.

If J-Bear's new look better expresses her inner self, then good on her. Sometimes people will ask the hubs why he doesn't cut his hair. He has, on several occasions. Every time he does, he says he doesn't recognize the man in the mirror. When it's long it feels like him.

(oops - sorry for being so long-winded)

anticsofacrazymom said...

I kind of dig the mohawk, but then again your talking to a woman who cuts her hair down to an inch long and spikes it. I'm even thinking about putting in blue highlights. To me, it's just hair. It's another way to express one's self. J-Bear is just trying to find herself. She'll get there eventually.

Daisy said...

It's a toughie, self expression vs. society and perception. The haircut or piercing might prevent a job offer some day - is it worth it? Some think yes.
I will never forget the day Husband decided to give up on growing his long; someone at work told him he looked like Yanni.

Roger said...

I have to admit that I love long hair on girls/women. Which means, of course, that all the women in my life have short hair - not like J-Bear, more bobbed than anything. Oh, it's cute and all that, it's just not what I prefer. It's also a battle that I choose not to have, because it is only hair.

The piercings though, OUCH! :)

the planet of janet said...

the issue here really was the shock value and the fact that really? she is expressing something in her "look" that she has declined to actually speak aloud (at least to me and her father -- she HAS opened up to z-man so i am not imagining anything here).

i guess i didn't express it right, which is something i was afraid of when i wrote it.


Aoj and The Hounds said... this number three out of the closet then?

Kila said...

Well, I grew up in a small, conservative town, in a conservative family, and now work in a conservative line of business, so those are the hair styles I've always had around me (therefore I don't know how to do anything cool with my hair). Both Z-man's and J-bear's hair would be considered shocking and immature and unacceptable, etc.! But, I'm sure in other areas/circles they would be completely within the norm and no big deal. I think their looks are kind of fun, but people here would not have a good first impression of them, and they would have a hard time securing employment.

My first thought about J-bear's change of hair style was that she changed from a feminine look to a very unfeminine, untraditional look.

Karen said...

I just keep telling myself that it's hair, it'll grow back. And at their ages I guess they can do what they want. They have to be aware though, that others will have opinions and as their mother yours is allowed to be vocalized. Loudly.

Siobhan said...

I like Z-Man's hair there, he looks very Jarvis Cocker (musician). I can imagine how shocking it still is to see J-Bear's hair all gone. That and the silence would kill me. I know what you're saying though, 'just spit it out!'

Has she noticed huge swings in how people approach/interact with her?

Lynette said...

did you say, "Is there something you want to tell me JBear?"
It's cute though.

I always admire people who cut super short like that. I keep my hair mid-length as it's one of the few things my husband LOOOVES about me (my hair. and that really cool thing I do ;)...ya know)

But it's just hair. It'll grow back I always say

Kaytabug said...

Well, my first conclusion was sounded a lot like... "ding,ding,ding,ding" or "weee-ooooo-weeeee-oooo-weeeee-oooo-weeee-oooo"

Didn't really need to see in the comments that I still got it!

I have more to say but email me with your little comment feedback already so we can dish.

Melissa said...

Wow. Just wow. Statistically speaking, that's out there. said...

So what ARE you doing with all the freed up room in your closets, now? ;-)

Suzanne said...

As soon as I saw that 'do, I thought the same thing as Aoj, Lynette and Kaytabug.

Then again, my radar on that is probably tweaked from belonging to a congregation of a church that is 97% 'out' members of society. ;)

How's Wonderhubby's radar? How is he holding up if he's figured it out?

LceeL said...

In the words of my hero, Frank, from 'Everybody Loves Raymond', "Holy Crap".

WackyMummy said...


Karen said...

Some things are just easier to say with actions than with words. That was very daring of her to do, don't you think?

Pamela said...

I was hoping she'd shorn them for Locks of Love or something.

Well I guess I wasn't so far off.

Rachael said...

First off, I agree w/Melissa!

Secondly, I bet she has a lot of people not recognize her - what a huge change! I bet she saves like 5 min in the shower. She looks so happy. That's great.

somethingone said...

I kind of guessed when you said that she'd made an *extreme* change in how she wore her hair. My college freshman usually announce their self discovery with their hair. In one memorable case, the young man with a former shaved head began wearing wigs.

The tricky thing for me is to remember to act surprised if and when they actual tell me. Young adults don't realize that they are open books.

Anonymous said...

If you don't already know it... get ready Mom. Guess who's coming to dinner....
(takes one to know one)

Janet said...

I guess I should have gone back to the posts I'd missed and worked forward instead of starting from today and working backward. And yes, I knew exactly what you meant.
Although I have to say that of my gay friends, only Robbie the actor has ever had a mohawk, and that was for a part.
Hair is funny.
I seem to recall a 21-year-old who shall not be named who had purple spiky hair ala Flashdance. For 6 months. And then there was a little skinny braid starting just behind her left ear and eventually reaching her waist. She had this braid for 9 years until some careless hairstylist chopped it off. She was 32 at the time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you never really sound all that proud or supportive of your children. You even admit that you make fun of them hinging on their sexual orientation-- what kind of supportive parent does that? I guess one that's oblivious and doesn't realise how hurtful she's being, and wants to make it all about her and her martyr complex, huh?

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