“You like my hair? Gee, thanks, just bought it.” -Ariana Grande “7 Rings”
Empowerment doesn’t come from or with societal approval. It was Ariana Grande’s release of “7 Rings” that tipped the scales on a decision I had been weighing since high school. Grande (25) and her mother recently starred in an unlikely Twitter feud with Piers Morgan over the issue of sexuality . This and other Neanderthal types of thinking are what kept my raging battle going.
While most teenagers are adjusting to their newfound raging hormones, I was losing my hair. My hair began thinning at puberty and by 16 it was missing in drastic amounts. Confidence is shaken at a core level, when you feel different than your generalized peers. My ponytail was more scalp than hair. By Senior year, the questions and negative comments were coming with increasing regularity.
I continued to struggle with my appearance and conventional beauty archetypes. A therapist once deemed my short, sassy pixie-cut as severe and another means of keeping people at a distance. He didn’t realize it was my only option for a hairstyle, something that swooped over the balding patches. Does it surprise you that a man found my hair intimidating?
Girls are told from a young age conflicting notions. You must wear makeup to have men find you beautiful, but men will call you fake. You should have long, well manicured nails but men will find you fake and frivolous. Tan your skin with dangerous means so men will find you beautiful, just don’t become orange. Your hair must look like a shampoo commercial, men need to see your femininity.
Maybe there is some cosmic coincidence that my favorite wig is called Ariana. It’s a pin-straight, 23 inch knockout. It can’t do a high pony, but lets face it, she’s the only one slaying that look. It wasn’t until I stared into the mirror and saw a person most friends wouldn’t recognize, that I began to feel like myself again.
Although I loved my rockstar worthy short haircut, I was essentially told it would be my only choice…forever. This is a depressing thought for someone with a creative spark and need for personal evolution. The choice to don a wig for the very first time was something deeply personal.
February 3rd is the officially recognized “Wig Wearers Empowerment Day” due to the efforts of Godiva’s Secret Wigs. My research on wigs led me to this extraordinary company. Godiva’s Secret Wigs is a company that focuses on women and children who have partial and total hair-loss. Many of their clients are people with alopecia, trichotillomania or are undergoing chemo.