If you happened upon the post directly before this one, you’ll have read that I planned on chronicling a little experiment.
I suppose the “experiment” really started Friday. I came to work into Friday in a dress, my hair straight, and minimal make-up on. It was the senior breakfast for my students and I wanted to look nice for them.
Friday’s comments included the following:
You look like a princess! – student
Go ahead Ms. ___! You wearing make-up? Go ahead girl! – co worker
You straightened your hair today Ms. ___? – co worker
I don’t really remember how the comments made me feel. The most I remember is feeling shocked that everyone seemed so shocked that I was in a dress. I wear a dress the majority of the school year. It’s easy. I can put it on and walk out of the house without thinking. Most people were acting as if they had never seen me in a dress ever before. I don’t remember feeling any more annoyed than that.
Saturday, I went to therapy with my hair straight. I through some lip gloss on for good measure after eating my way through my Saturday bagel and coffee. My therapist immediately commented that I looked different, although he couldn’t put his finger on it. I told him I had straightened my hair for work. We talked about it, the conversation closely echoing what we had discussed two weeks prior. There isn’t much to add in terms of comments or thoughts made by either of us.
Today, Monday, I’ve come to work with my hair straight again and some mascara on. I straightened my hair Saturday late afternoon in preparation for seeing a show, so I didn’t have to worry about taking extra time this morning to straighten it. The mascara took me twenty seconds max to apply. I didn’t feel anything other than tired while getting ready.
So far this morning, no one has commented on my appearance and I feel ok about having groomed and primped. I will update as the day goes on and my feelings change.
Conclusion for the day:
Only two people commented on my hair, both towards the end of the day. The school nurse said, “I like your hair today.” Quick and simple. No other comment. A co-worker said, as she was walking out the door, “I like your hair! Did you blow dry it? Looks good.” I appreciated the comments. They didn’t make me feel resentful. They didn’t give me complicated feelings that I mulled over for the rest of the day, or hours after. They felt genuine. It should be noted that both co-workers were female (hard to find a male co-worker in a special education school).
We’ll see what tomorrow brings.