My girls have hair appointments at a salon somewhat randomly chosen from a list generated by that trusty search engine, Google. I am nervous about this afternoon’s pending trip to the selected beauty establishment in the Short North, a trendy, artsy neighborhood here in Columbus. Why be nervous?
First, this means I must style my own hair and find something presentable to wear other than my favorite red plaid flannel jammie pants that I’ve sported all week. (Yes, my older daughter, Sophia, is planning to submit my photos to TLC's What Not to Wear). Second, this means I must convince my girls that after five months, they do indeed need their hair trimmed. For some reason, they think if they get a trim, their hair will cease to be long. They do not understand that without regular pruning, their long flowing locks will turn into thin frayed wisps. Lastly, I am not looking forward to meeting a new stylist. The last two hair experts we’ve loyally employed turned out to be unstable professionally. Oh, things always started out great. But one stylist stopped listening to what the client wanted for she could not hear over her own talking, and the other refused to return money paid for tinsel extensions that fell out in one hour.
The trip to the new-to-us salon cannot be avoided. Next week Sophia is performing in her middle school’s musical. She has the lead. She can’t have stringy Marcia Brady hair and convincingly portray Winnifred the Woebegone. Antonia, my younger daughter, complains every morning that she hates her hair. This fascinates me because, although it does need shaped up, she has a gorgeous head of hair with perfect color, texture, and wave. Are the talks about self-talk failing?
So, haircuts, here we come.
Maybe it’s not the actual experience of the haircuts that I am dreading. Maybe it’s that I despise the fact that I see my girls beginning to be crushed by the societal standards placed upon women to be pretty. You know what, my girls are pretty—with hair or bald, new clothes or hand-me-downs, a broken out forehead or clear skin. I am frustrated that they do not see their own beauty, honor it, embrace it, and give it the merit it deserves.
This brings me to a heavily debated question. What merit does beauty deserve?
If beauty deserves no value, why am I concerned about my jammie pants? I can chalk that one up to wanting to teach my girls what it means to be appropriately dressed and taken seriously. Yet, left to be answered is why we celebrate celebrities and movie stars but put down the woman we pass on the street who needs to lose ten pounds?
Maybe I'll make a statement against the value of beauty by rolling to the salon just as I am, right now, sitting at my kitchen table with no make-up applied, hair wild, and a Chihuahua comfortably cuddled in my lap. Possibly too extreme. I will continue to contemplate until it is time for this little dog on my lap to be let outside. While he is frolicking in the winter sun, blissfully unaware of his beauty, I'll give in to societal standards by applying my make-up and doing my hair. The jammie pants? That's a rough one.