Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

5 Things Curly Haired Girls Hear all the Time

Ah Cury Hair. Can't live with it, can't convince your mum to let you chemically straighten it when you're eight. From tangles the size of mangoes, and a frizz-expansion rate that could be weaponised, life with curly hair is certainly never dull. But even if you've made peace with a life of sleeping in silk caps, you still have to deal with what everyone elsehas to say on the matter...

Curly Haired Girl and title: 5 Things Curly Haired Girls Hear All the Time

"People pay a fortune for hair like that"

A comment which will be barked at you when you have the audacity to complain about your hair for a single moment - even if it's just to remark that the rain has made it a bit frizzy - and here's the thing, yes, people really do spend a lot of time and money for curly hair like mine, but people also spend a fortune on having bits of silicone jammed into their bodies and images of insects tattooed on their flesh - and while there's obviously nothing wrong with any of that -  it doesn't mean it's something I want. As it happens, I do now love my curls, after many years of daily battles (that I almost always lost), I made peace with my ringlets. But here's the thing: just because society sees big curls as 'special' doesn't mean you are obligated to feel the same. You can have the biggest, bounciest curls in the country and iron them poker straight every morning if you want to - it's your hair. 

"You must've eaten all your crusts when you were little"

Ha, good one, I have never heard that before.
There are of course the variants, such as anytime someone sees you throw away a bit of crust (be it bread, pizza or Pop Tart), they will remark "oh, you'll lose those curls!". Sigh.
Now I Googled this to try and see where this whole crusts = curls thing came about, and I couldn't find the answer, yeah, I couldn't find it hidden amongst all the threads of people asking, and blogs explaining whether or not crusts = curls. People actually are unsure about this. But just to clarify: they don't. At all. This isn't like a 'carrots help you see in the dark type of a situation' where okay, no, carrots don't, but the vitamin A they're rich in, does. Crusts however, have no bearing on a person's hair texture, style or shape.

"Are your curls natural?"

You're sitting in the waiting room at the GPs, or in line at the cinema, or on a bus, or a plane, or a ferry and all of a sudden you hear, "are your curls natural?" shouted above the background noise. You glance up and, oh, sorry, were you talking to me? You see I didn't initially realise because you hadn't said 'hello' or made eye contact, and I've never met you before so I didn't realise that the personal question being hurled across a crowded room, was in fact meant for me to answer politely, for no apparent reason.
It's such a weird question to ask without even so much as a 'hello' before it, but I get it at least a couple of times a week. I, personally, can't imagine staring down a stranger for several minutes and then bellowing, "Are your boobs real?", or, "are you really a blonde?", but apparently, many others don't feel the same way I do.
I haven't even got to the strangest part of this interaction yet, oh no. So after realising the shouted question was directed at me, I smile and say "yes, they are", now without fail, and I mean, seriously, always the next question is, "really?" accompanied by eyebrows raised to the heavens and a look of mild distrust. No actually, not really, you caught me! It's a hobby of mine you see, I like to invest significant time styling my hair to look like this purely so that I can lie to random strangers who then ask me about it. You're right, that does seem more likely.

Blurred image of curly hair.

*stroke, stroke, stroke*

By far the most awkward thing people can say to me about my hair is nothing. Oh and by that I don't mean that people simply don't care that I have a different shape of hair hanging from my head, oh no, I mean the situations when without so much as a 'hello' a random person, in a public place will just start touching my hair. It sounds unbelievable, it sounds made up, but I assure you this happens, and it happens far more often than I'd hope.  
I came to realise, long ago, that my hair is like a magnet for babies and toddlers (particularly those with sticky hands) and that, I totally understand - they are after all, infants, they are allowed to give into the urges (like soiling themselves and screaming when someone says they can't have candy), that we, as adults, are supposed to know how to handle. But clearly a whole bunch of folks missed the memo about ignoring the urge to reach out and run your hand through a strangers' hair. 
Just a few weeks ago I was standing in a crowded shopping centre lift and felt something catch in my hair - I ignored it, thinking it had just snagged on the zipper of someone's bag or something. Tug, nope, there it is again, I turn my head and there is a lady literally holding my hair between her hands and running her fingers through it. I jerked my head away, more out of reflex than rudeness, and she actually leaned forward to start touching it again while saying, "oh, it's just such lovely hair". I literally had to say, "please don't touch me", which I'm sorry, but I don't think should ever have to be said.
Now I know what you're thinking, maybe this person for some reason, wasn't aware of  the inappropriateness of their actions, and I can see why this kind of behaviour might lead you to assume this but this person was wearing the work uniform of a nearby shop and her name tag had 'manager' written on it - so I have to assume that she had a reasonable understanding of personal space, or else she'd probably have been sat in some kind of harassment seminar at work at that very moment. Also, this incident aside, I have had many people do this over the years, many in their place of employment; shop workers, hostesses, cabin crew, Cast Members at Disney World; the list could go on, so I can assure you that this wasn't an isolated issue. Maybe I sound harsh, or nasty but I'm sorry, I wash my hair and I style it and I do not want greasy, dirty hands run through it (yes, even if you think yours are clean, I still don't want them in my hair, thanks), and I'm a little sick of looking like the bad guy when I say this to people who are stroking me like a spaniel - their shocked look always leads me to feel they were expecting some kind of flattered, grateful response to the interaction.
No. Just no.

"What happens when you try to straighten it?"

Erm, it becomes straight?
People never seem contented with this answer, but I never really know what they're expecting to hear; "As soon as the GHDs touch my hair, a pink, holographic vortex is formed, giving life to a dozen mauve and mustard coloured Pegasus which spring forth from my ringleted locks to embark on a quest for immortality".
But no, as much as I hate to disappoint people, when I apply an appliance specifically designed and built to straighten curly hair, to my curly hair - all that happens, is that it becomes straight. Mind. Blown.

 So those are 5 things this curly haired girl hears all the time - do you relate to any of these? Any variant for other hair styles and colours you'd like to share - I know there must be some!

1 comment:

  1. I just burst out laughing at the part about the GHD straighteners! Oh man, I needed that laugh. Thank you!!

    And also, WTF? I have had that random hair touching thing happen before. People seem to feel you will take it as a compliment. I can't imagine having it happen as frequently as you have. Ugh!


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