People, I think I’ve arrived at the place this experience was meant to take me. INSECURITY.
Insecurity in the form of Faux Hawks.
Every time I glimpse myself in the mirror I pause to get my bearings. These styles are SO different. Once I saw my friend on the street and I stopped in my car to ask her a question. She answered in a strangely polite way. I said, “Friend, it’s Rachel,” and then I nearly peed my pants laughing as the truth crept across her face. Classic. That happened so many more times. I still hear “I didn’t even recognize you!” almost every day.
So, here they are as critics have named them. The three faux-hawks:
Not everyone liked the styles. There was a time when someone literally could not look at me. She turned her head and told me she didn’t like my hair. I laughed a little and cried a little inside that day. Another time a lady I barely knew went out of her way to tell me how much she doesn’t like it, or get it, and then offered various reasons why she wasn’t the right person to like my hairstyle. I frequently held my tongue.
Also, when I had the turquoise faux-hawk, I experienced awkward staring for the first time in my life. I mean, even when I was in the Netherlands wearing a name tag, long skirts, and a helmet astride a bike I wasn’t stared at like I was one night with The Punk. Usually you don’t notice when people look at you, but that night at a wedding reception, everywhere I looked I met someone’s eyes. It was bizarre. I think they might have been confused because I was holding hands with a very responsible looking man, but I could be wrong. Which brings me to my next point.
Stereotypes. They’re for real.
When I’m out with my girlfriends, people assume we’re lesbians. I’m not just guessing about this. They say stuff. Not rude stuff; most of the time people are warm and accepting, but it’s funny how a haircut can change what others assume about your life.
I can’t say I feel super about myself everyday with this style, but there are moments I feel so cool I grin like a kid. I mean, I have a blue faux-hawk! I don’t have many more things to try before the end of phase one and the beginning of phase two, and I’m not going to lie. I’m really scared. So far, though, the experience has been so overwhelmingly positive, so fascinating and perception-altering that I’m excited to see it through. I’m excited to see “me” in all this. I am learning to recognize shallowness in myself and little by little, begin to let it go.