At first it was just a whim. A whim that struck me months and months ago, probably inspired by the awe I have for the fearlessness of two awesome bloggers I admire. The whim stuck with me for a while, surviving the original disappointment when my stylist was out of the necessary product.
I even went out and bought a temporary solution to this whim, but the desire to have the real thing stuck with me.
That’s how, over eight months after the original whim struck, I found myself in my stylist’s chair asking her to dye a lock of my hair pink. Hot, bright, pink.
She didn’t bat an eye because she’s awesome like that. She just went to find me her samples so I could pick the exact shade I wanted. For a moment, a short, short moment, I stared at the more tame red, sitting next to its bright pink cousin, and I hesitated. Red seemed somehow less radical. But my heart won out and I pointed to the pink.
Did I mention it was bright?
To be fair, I have a bit of history with pink, and unlike the history with pink my American, princess and fairy obsessed daughters will have, my history starts in France in a sea of blacks, browns, and deep dark maroons.
You see, the French, they aren’t really into the bright colors. They wear dark, muted colors that blend in easily with the masses. So, when in high school, I pooled all my babysitting money to invest in the cutest, but brightest of pink down jackets, my friends were more than a bit taken aback.
They called me Raspberry for a very long time.
I wore that jacket for years, standing out in every crowd I stood in, wearing my colors with pride.
The pink hair though, that seemed a tad more radical somehow. First, it’s not like I could take it off and put it away when I needed to be a bit more subdued. It’s not like I could hide it should the need to blend in arose. No, a stripe of bright pink hair is hard to conceal, even if you have the stylist strategically place it where it can play peek-a-boo with the darker brown hair that surrounds it.
In my life I’ve probably done exactly one utterly surprising thing. Other than opting to move to a different country to live with a boy I’d known for exactly three weeks, I’ve been the most predictable person you could hope to meet. So, really, is it any surprise that many of my friends were taken aback by my radical hair adventure?
“Uh… did you want to have that done to your hair?” One shocked friend asked.
“You are way too old to pull off that look,” another admonished.
“Oh! How fun, you let your kids color your hair,” a third said.
But for every shocked, horrified look I got I received countless awed and admiring gaze. Random strangers have stopped me in the street to tell me how cool my hair looks. Kids, big and little, boys and girls, stare with mouths open wide, gleams of envy in their eyes. And friends with more traditional jobs have whispered to me that they wish they could be so adventurous and daring.
I lost sleep for days worrying about the pink hair. I worried that I was too old for the look. I worried that I’d stand out, which, after a lifetime of trying to fit in, sounded terrifying. I even worried that I’d hate it and that I’d be stuck with it for weeks, wishing I had a bigger hat collection.
I should have known better. I should have realized that pink has always been my color and that maybe I already stand out in many ways as the renegade of most groups. After all, I am the one trailblazing a new career path, I am the one who left her prescribed life behind to forge a new one in the once-Wild West. I am the one who is rarely, if ever, afraid to do exactly what she wants, to say exactly what she thinks, and to be exactly who she is.
Before you had to actually talk to me to get a sense of all that. Now you can just tell that from looking at my head.
|Listen, having pink hair keeps me busy… too busy to pose for non blurry photos…|