Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Have you ever given any thought to the importance of hair? I passed an older lady the other day with a bright Pepto-Bismol pink bouffant. It was teased to make it look voluminous but you could still see her scalp through the cotton candy sculpture that was now her hair. Hair has been called our "crowning glory." Society has placed a great deal of social and cultural importance on hair and hairstyles, which is why I imagine men and women dread going bald. They fight the good fight with the help of toupees, wigs, Rogaine, the cotton candy bouffant and what I like to call The Trump Swirl.

Throughout history people have used hair as part of their fashion arsenal. Think about it; Braids, dreads, gheri curls, Pony tails,Afros, Mohawks, dirty hair, hair weaves, extensions, wigs, perms. Relaxers, curls, braids, ironing hair, beehive hair dos, shaved heads, outrageous colors not found in nature they’ve all been part of a person’s “look” and along with the hair there was a fashion trend going on. Hair and fashion have gone hand in hand since back in the day when Eve brushed out her long hair and adjusted her fig leaf thong. Queen Elizabeth I was a trend setter with her heart shaped “do” and huge collars. Women of that era were so desperate to imitate her curly red hair that they applied urine to their hair and shaved their foreheads in an attempt to emulate her look. So basically they ran around smelling like piss, with huge foreheads. Wow that was really attractive. The ancient Egyptians went to great lengths to be hair fabulous. Women wove ribbons into their hair and placed spirals of gold in their locks. Wigs elevated hair (literally) to an art form with fantastic sculptures for the head. Hair extensions were also a must for the ancient Egyptian fashionista. Much like Lil’ Kim Cleopatra rocked extensions in ancient times.

Why the post about hair? Well for me it’s kind of personal. Until recently I never liked my hair. I hated my curls, despised the color. I inherited my curls from my mother. I also inherited her hair color. Like my mother, grandmother, and maternal uncles, I have tri- colored reddish hair. Let me explain; the roots are dark and about ¼ inch away from the scalp our hair is auburn but the longer it gets the lighter it gets. It turns a light reddish brown with blonde highlights. I don’t know why that is but tis the way it is. My uncles have it worse their beards and mustaches are the same color. You can see auburn, blonde and red all mixed in together. What I didn’t inherit from my mom is her skin tone; she is very fair takes after the Spaniards in her family. I have a nice tan complexion. However I have the same color hair as my mother, which is kind of unusual I suppose for a person of my complexion. The end result is that all my life people have assumed that I dyed my hair this color. I’ve lost track of how many times people have told me I need to touch up my roots and when I’d tell them it was my natural color they’d balk. Even my boyfriend gave me grief about my roots! Until he met my mom and saw her hair color and she told him, “ by the way you see my hair (holding up a long ringlet for him to see) this is my natural color . Notice the roots? You can see the red, blonde and gray coming out of my scalp along with the darker hair. You see Mia’s hair? That’s her natural color . Only then was he satisfied.
Sometimes other girls will complement me on the color and ask what brand and color i'm using. As a teenager I was so self conscious about my hair color, that I started dying my hair jet black. In retrospect it was kind of stupid of me but teenagers are not known for having it all together you know? The funny thing is that as a kid my mom told me that one day I’d like the color of my hair but I doubted her. Now I look at and it’s not so bad being a quasi red head. I’m starting to feel comfortable and revel in what I inherited in terms of genetic traits. Oh lord can it be I’m growing up?


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