Blond Ambition II

I’m sorry. I just can not feel like Tracee Sioux with plain brown hair.

It’s the single brown tone that’s making me feel un-me when I look in the mirror. Drab. Dull. Boring. Not on you. Just on me.

None of those words describe me. I’m fun, happy and exciting. My hair should reflect that.

Last night I spent $9.99 for a box of Loreal Chunking Blond Highlights. I put about 10 blond streaks back around my face and feel like myself again. They’re a little orangey – but I do not care.

Ainsley asked for some blond streaks in her dark blond/light brown hair and I couldn’t think of a reason to tell her no.

I can think of lots of reasons other mothers might give their daughters,
You’re too young. You’re hair is perfect like it is. You don’t need lighter blond to be pretty. What will people think if I let my 6-year-old color her hair?

I respect all those reasons as valid and legitimate. But, none of those ring true for me, as I’ve already allowed red streaks and pink streaks – depending on what I was doing to my own hair. Who is a little blond going to hurt? No one. It’s fun. That’s all it is. It’s instantly gratifying to change the color of one’s hair. It’s a hobby. It’s a harmless distraction.

I’m a feminist, but not the natural kind. I think the beauty industry has gotten too extreme and makes many women feel like crap about themselves, I abhor their marketing tactics. But, I am happy when they invent a product that really works.

I use beauty products. I shave my legs, pits and groom my vajayjay. I pluck my eyebrows into a high arch. I wear make-up, apply sun screen and foundation. I get excited about my mascara. I try to control my acne with prescription medication. I’m willing to pay a lot of money for a product that makes melasma vanish and never return. Mind you – I get this stuff on the cheap so I’m not hurting myself financially in this quest for beauty. I got this rotating scrub brush and a chemical peel at a retiring Avon Lady’s garage sale for a quarter.

And I love blond highlights. I’m a feminist who feels her best self with blond-highlights.

In December’s O Magazine I read this quote from Nancy Etkoff, PhD, author of Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty, If we say, “Get rid of the advertisement and tell companies to stop making products, and no one will care about beauty – this is all just a creation that we can wipe away,” we are denying who we are. People do care about how they look. They have adorned themselves since Paleolithic times. This is not a vanity issue or a women’s issue or a United States issue. It is human nature.

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