There is something my family doesn’t understand about hair: it moves.
On one hand, maybe that’s not surprising since I have the longest hair out of everyone I live with. On the other hand, I would think that’s common sense. If your hair has grown out far from your scalp, it’s not staying 100% still and perfect unless you wear a hat that fits over all of it.
Today, my uncle couldn’t believe the mere act of walking– that is, constantly and consistently moving my body forward – would make my bangs move out of place. Let’s see. If I sit down, my bangs move. If I stand up, they move. If I bend over, they move. If I stretch, they move. Gee, who could imagine if I walk, they move?
For people so obsessive about my hair, they sure are ignorant about how it works.
That doesn’t mean I don’t like to keep my hair neat. I do. But unless I’m going to stand, sit, or lie absolutely still for an entire day (hint: I’m not), it’s going to mess up. My family would have me fixing my hair every single minute of the day if they could. And let’s face it. It’s not a crisis. My uncle complained about me not caring it messes up. He’s right. I don’t care. I don’t care about something extremely trivial that happens if I so much as jerk my body in some way. If I had some kind of fancy event to attend, sure, I’d pay more attention to it, but I’m going from my house to school and back. Not something that calls for extra dressing up.
The ironic thing is I probably would care more about my hair if they stopped nagging me about it. I have never seen anyone outside of my family so obsessive about something of another person’s body, nor do I feel that way about anyone else’s body. I’ve seen people with hairstyles and hair colors I think are strange, but I keep it to myself because it’s none of my business, and that very much includes family. Unfortunately, I’m not paid that same respect.
Sometimes, I suspect my family is willfully ignorant. This is something I could explain to a child with ease, yet these adults who have lived several years longer than me claim not to understand. If hair could be perfectly static, besides by tying it up (and even then, it’s not 100% still), nobody would use hair products or have their hair styled.
I remember as a child, my mother would force me to have hair extensions. I hated my own hair for the longest time because of that. When I reached 16, I started experimenting with hair extensions on my own choice and after my high school graduation, I never got them again. Now, I don’t have anything against hair extensions or people who like them, but over the 2 1/2 years since I left high school, I went from hating my hair to liking it, to the point I can look in the mirror and think I’m happy this hair is mine. I hated my hair for most of my life, yet it only takes me around two years to begin liking it because I stopped filling it with extensions. My mother allowed me to hate myself for nearly two decades because she considered vanity and beauty essential instead of me having a positive self-image of myself. She cared about what everyone thought of me except me. The opinion of the person who owns the body wasn’t important. And the relatives I live with now are no different.
If I sound angry, it’s because I am. At the same time, I’m also relieved. No, I’m not happy to have experienced most of the past I have, but I am happy I, if nothing else, know this is how not to treat people. I fully admit I’m still a judgmental person, but I try hard to keep my negative judgments to myself. It’s not an easy thing to unlearn things that have been ingrained into your mind, but it’s worth trying if you really don’t want it anymore. Since I already know this isn’t a good way to treat people and make an effort not to, I suppose I’m doing good. Probably not the best at the moment, but good.
A look through my archives tells me I’ve spoken about this before, back in 2012. So, not much has changed, but I can name one certain thing that has. I like myself more and I care about my family’s judgments less. They have no care for how I feel and I have no care for how they do. Of course, getting back the treatment you give isn’t a concept they’d understand either.