People don’t follow their dreams.
Countless times, people have said to me, “I wish I could dye my hair like that.” My response is always, “You can.” There are, of course, some careers and companies where it’s entirely against the dress code to have an unnatural hair color. Don’t do anything to get yourself fired. But, if you’re like me, and you don’t have a job where you’d be fired for it…what’s stopping you? If you want pink hair, why don’t you get pink hair?
Many people asked me, “Why did you do it?” The answer is always, “because I felt like it.” But somehow, that answer didn’t ever satisfy anyone. Feeling like doing something wasn’t a good enough reason to actually do it. That was fascinating to me. Absolutely fascinating. If there is something that would make you happy, and you can afford it, and it won’t mess up your life or someone else’s…then why the hell aren’t you doing it?! I ended up having to embellish my answer to this:
I always wanted pink hair. Then one day, I realized I’m an adult with a car and a debit card. So I went and got pink hair.
People were pleased with that answer…but…isn’t that just basically saying….Because I felt like it?
People are rude.
Actual conversation that happened:
Rude Person (RP): What did you do to your hair?
Me: Had it colored.
RP: It does not look good on you.
Me: Thank you!
RP: No, I said I don’t like it. You should change it.
Me: I’m not going to, but thank you so much for your opinion.
(What I said in my head: I truly don’t give a fuck what you think.)
People will remember you – whether you want them to or not.
I realized soon after dying my hair that I was very easy to spot in a crowd. I realized this also meant that strangers would remember me. No longer would I be able to sneak in and out of the grocery store unnoticed. As this realization dawned on me, I came to understand that I needed to be more than nice to the people around me. I was representing everyone who has crazy hair. If I acted like a bitch, I might be feeding into a negative stereotype. It was my task, nay, my duty to treat others with kindness. Why did I wait until I had pink and purple hair to realize this? I don’t know.
People will remember how you made them feel, even if they don’t remember you specifically. Now that I knew people would remember me AND how I made t hem feel, the responsibility was even greater.
There is a great episode of Doctor Who where there are reptilian humanoids beneath the earth, wanting to take back the planet. Each side – the reptilians and the humans – had a hostage. The Doctor was going to negotiate the safe release of all hostages. As he was leaving his human companions alone with the hostage, he said to them, “Be the best of your kind.”
That sentiment has stuck with me for a very long time. Every where you go, you’re representing other people that look like you. Be the best of your kind. This may be the best piece of advice the Doctor ever relayed to the human race.
People are judgmental.
The judgmental people are different than the rude people. The judgmental ones might like your hair but they’re going to tell you everything about it (even if they don’t know what they’re talking about). They’ll tell you their opinion on how the gradient looks, how it’s fading, how it’s damaged at the end. You name it. This cracks me up because I wonder if they think I don’t own a mirror. Or a cell phone with a front-facing camera! :P
People respect bold decisions.
This goes hand-in-hand with the first one (people don’t follow their dreams). A lot of people admired the fact that I would just go ahead and do something so crazy. My motto has always been, “If you do it with enough confidence, you can get away with anything.” I walk around like my hair is supposed to be pink and purple and people completely accept it. (It’s a fascinating social experiment and I suggest you try it some time.)
But, at the end of the day, I feel like a million bucks with my purple and pink hair driving my bitchin’ car – regardless of what anyone else thinks!