Ten things I hate about you

I hate the way my voice fills with molasses when you compliment my legs. As if I don’t hear the thunderous applause of my cream colored thighs as I walk into a room. As if I haven’t been conditioned by men for millennia to hate every curve and soft spot of my life giving body. This body, that sheds blood to give life. I hate the way my cheeks redden when you compliment my breasts. As if these pendulous pouches haven’t been the talk of the town since I was 12. As if teachers, bosses, seamstresses, boys, and girls, haven’t shamed me into hiding under baggy clothes, minimizing sports bras, and the prayer for a reduction. Too long I’ve been taught to hate. Hate my hair, whose alternately curly wildness and limp tameness have caused me to be endlessly mocked and insulted. Hate my body hair, the ancestral remains of our evolution. I hate the way I’m praised for putting on makeup as if you haven’t told me time and again, “well, you should do what you can to attract a mate”. I hate the way I can see the beauty in my friends but not in myself. That I can’t let go of the insecurities I’ve wrapped around myself like armor. That for every half step forward, there are months of moving backwards. I thought I’d learned to be happier with who I am, but one compliment about my thick, creamy white thighs, and I’m back to being a quiet and shy pre-teen who quickly learned her body would never be her own, but a weapon to be yielded by suppression hungry men and the females they left plugged into the matrix.

Cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf

It’s Monday!  This is “post experiment” update two.  I have nothing in my hair but some frizz-eaze.  I’m wearing my hair down (for now) and I don’t have make up on.  I feel much more like myself than I have since starting this experiment.  I’m interested to hear what comments I get from people today.  I feel good.  My hair feels soft.  I’m wearing an outfit I’m comfortable in (which I wore both the week I did my hair straight and the week I wore my hair curly).  It’s science at this point.  Keep everything the same and only change on thing, in this case my hair style, to see what the difference in comments is.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

No one has said anything to me.  Good or  bad.  It’s playing with my head.  I think I said it in another post too (the first time during the experiment that I forgot to wear make up).  I’m half panicking that everyone is saying how shitty I look behind my back.  I shouldn’t worry though, people here have no problem telling you they think you look like shit, so I guess if they aren’t saying it to my face, chances are they aren’t saying it.  It’s weird though, before the experiment, I never would have thought twice about people talking shit about me.  Now however, after two weeks of compliments on and off, I’m looking at everyone wondering if they are whispering about me.  I think that’s one of the biggest take aways for me.  I want to be able to wear and style myself how I want, when I want, without having to spend my day worrying about what type of feedback I’m going to get.  If I want to wear my hair straight, curly, or otherwise just a mess, I should feel like I can without worrying about the social consequences.  If I want to wear make up or not, I shouldn’t feel like any less of an attractive or valuable woman.  But there’s that little voice inside of me that disagrees.  I got compliments for two weeks.  I was even complimented on my figure (which seemingly hasn’t changed over the past month or so).  Today, nothing.  Is it a coincidence?  Is it a factor of what I’m wearing (I can’t imagine it is as, as state previously, I’m wearing an outfit that I’ve worn once a week for the past three weeks)?  Is it the lack of mascara?  Again, I don’t think so.  My use of make up was inconsistent at best across the past two weeks.  The only thing I consistently altered was my hair.

It’s a curious feeling, what I’m feeling right now.  I can’t adequately describe it.  I feel more genuine and more like myself than I have in the past two weeks, but I also feel slightly awkward and unsure of myself and I’m worried about comments I wasn’t worried about before starting this journey.

Un, deux, trois, quatre

Saturday.  I wore my hair curly again to see if my therapist would notice a difference.  He didn’t.  Or if he did, he didn’t comment on it.

I wore it curly later that night too for a night out at the bar.  I even kept it down the whole night…in a crowded bar…with dancing.  I’m impressed with myself.  And I had bright purple lipstick on and it stayed on all night.  I really am impressed with myself.  I don’t do that.  I don’t go out.  I don’t wear lipstick.  I don’t keep my hair down when I go out.  I am a very hot person.  A sweaty neck is the last thing you want when you are out.

It was a fun night and I got some compliments from the ladies I was out with.  It was a fun night.

Number 10: Paces FIRE!

Full disclosure, I’m writing this on Monday and day 10 was Friday.  Friday my last day with curly hair.  The comments made fall in line with everything else that had already been said.  I even got a lot of comments on my weight, as if my hair being done suddenly made people think I had lost weight.  Perhaps it had.  Big curly hair could make my head look smaller, which could make people look like I’ve lost weight.  Nothing else to add really I guess.

Number 9: Look ’em in the eye, aim no higher…

Today was a good, but weird, day.  Second day curly hair (I just wet my hands and gently wet my hair, put a small amount of extra product in, and used the diffuser to set it).  The nice thing about wearing my hair curly two days in a row without washing it, is that, if it set well on the first day, the small addition of more product and setting it with cold air, makes the curls even nicer.

I’m telling you, I’ve worn my hair curly for four days now and today around 10 coworkers said something to me.  That’s a huge number, comparatively to every other day…even when I wore it straight.  The large number of people really loved my hair today and told me I should wear it like this all the time.  One of my co-workers, with stunning curls, even asked me what product I use.  I couldn’t believe it.  So interesting.

But here’s the problem…1/4 days had my curly hair looking good enough to bring more than 1 or 2 people out of the woodwork.  My hair never does the same thing twice when it’s curly.  Everything from the water quality, to the shampoo I use, to the humidity in the air, affects how my hair looks that day.  It happened to look great today.  The other downside to constant curly hair to me is that, especially today, it feels like it has product in it.  I like being able to run my fingers through my hair.  I’d want a partner to want their fingers through my hair.  It’s not really feasible when my hair has this much product in it.  Thankfully, I use hair “lotions” so my hair doesn’t maintain that “wet curl”/”crunchy” look, but it’s also not “run you fingers through my hair” soft.

It was weird how many people came up to me today.  I feel like all of them.  All of the people came up to me to tell me to wear my hair like this.

Anyways…Number 10 tomorrow!  I’ll do a bonus 11 and 12.  11 to catalogue my therapist’s reaction and 12 to catalogue the reactions when I go back to normal (despite it all, I still consider this to not be my norm) Monday.

Number 8: Your last chance to negotiate…

Send in your seconds, see if they can set the record straight.  I feel like my second again today.  My hair curled really well today, which I am grateful for.  It’s actually interesting, because it curled so well today, people are treating it as if it’s the very first time I’ve worn it curly.

“Wow!  Your hair is so curly!  Is that what happens if you just let it dry?”

“Your hair is so curly!  I love it!”

“Is that your natural curl?  It’s so pretty!”

All comments I’ve sort of gotten the last few days, but the emphasis and the intonation in which they are being spoken seems vastly different than Monday or Tuesday.  I told you, wearing my hair curly is a risk.  I never know how it’s really going to turn out until it’s fully dry, and there’s NO WAY I’m waking up early enough in the mornings to have time for it to fully dry before I get to work.  I got up and did my hair at 6:15 this morning.  It wasn’t fully dry until maybe 8:30.  No way I’m getting up at 4 something just to do my hair.

I forgot make-up again today though.  Even though doing my hair (seemingly) became routine quickly and easily, putting on make-up still hasn’t.  Throughout this process though, no one has mentioned my use of mascara anyway.  Maybe the glasses block their view.  Maybe they don’t see it.  Maybe they don’t really care.

In thinking about this experiment, and it’s glorious end just within site, I think it will be incredibly interesting to hear people’s reactions when (I’d say “if”, but let’s be honest here) I come to work on Monday with my hair back to it’s normal frizzy, undefined curly mess.

*Update*

I got a lot of comments today.  More than I remember.  My hair held up all day, which was nice.

Number 7: Confess your sins…

Curly hair.  It’s curlier today.  By the time I got home yesterday, around 6pm, my hair wasn’t curly anymore.  It had straightened out almost completely by the end of the day.  I didn’t fully wash it this morning, I just ran it under the sink, put more product in it and used the diffuser to blow dry it.

The same co-worker who complimented me first yesterday complimented me again today saying, “Curly again!  I love it!”.  I appreciated the compliment.  One other person mentioned that it’s a curly week for me and said it looks good like this.

No other comments today.  It’s strange how “normal” changes in appearance become to people.

It was pretty frizzy by the end of the day and I ended up wearing it half up for most of the day.  Not a bad look for me overall.

I’m so tired today.  I have a migraine.  I’m not fully here.  I want to be.  I’m so short tempered today.  I need to check myself.

Number 6: Leave a note for your next of kin…

Curly hair, don’t care.  That’s a lie.  I’m interested to hear reactions today.  In many ways, for me, wearing my hair curly is much riskier than wearing it straight.  My hair is unpredictable when I wear it curly.  Will it come out correct?  Will it frizz out and look like a mane to rival that of Albert Einstein?  It also takes a little longer to do in the morning, I wash my hair, put some curl defining product in it, and then blow dry it with a diffuser.  If it doesn’t work, it’s too late for me to rectify the problem before I have to leave for work.  I think it turned out ok though.

First comment of the day was from a co-worker who walked into my room for our typical pre-work chat.

“Oh!  I LOVE your hair like that!!!  It looks so great!”

Thanks 🙂

“I like your hair like that!” – co-worker

“I was just gonna say that.  I just looked up and noticed your hair is curlier than normal.” – co-worker…probably a sympathy compliment as the other two people in the room have complimented my hair and she’s just sitting there.

Some more post lunch comments:

“Is that your natural hair?  It looks so good!  You should let it be curly like this every day!  Did you put product in it?” – co-worker

“Your hair is getting so long!  I like it!” – co-worker

And my “favorite” comment of the day goes to the person who said this…

“You know, maybe your student had a behavioral issue today because he didn’t like that you wore your hair curly.”

Thanks.

 Image result for palm to face gif

Number 5: Duel before the sun is in the sky.

Once again, these lyrics are so close to how I’m feeling this morning it’s uncanny.  Not only close to how I’m feeling, but I actually got in a brief tiff/argument with a co-worker this morning…as the sun was rising.  I can’t.  Lin-Manuel Miranda, you are a god.

Back to the experiment on hand.  I’m tired again today, but again, I feel that’s more due to the fact that my work day as been from 6:00-21:00 since Wednesday.

I’m feeling really self-conscious today.  Really really…just fat.  I didn’t like the body I saw in the mirror this morning.  I hate days when I feel like this.  I want to crawl into bed and sleep until I love myself again.  Body dysmorphia is a real thing.  That’s not to say that what I’m seeing in the mirror is a distortion of my physical body.  I’m sure it’s actually quite real.  But I understand the struggle with seeing a gross distortion of what you really look like.  I should do some walking.  I’ve been pretty sedentary all week and have indulged in a beer, Chinese food, and some gummy candy.  My water intake has also been pretty low this week.  Getting home so late, I don’t have as much time to drink a lot of water before I fall asleep, and being a teacher, I rarely drink water during the day.  I can’t leave my students alone in the room without a teacher, so my bathroom breaks are few and far between.

Regardless of not liking my physical features today, let’s get back again to the actual experiment.  I’m in a t-shirt and leggings again today.  I could have worn a nice shirt but decided against it.  Friday’s I spend an hour and half in a kitchen with no windows or fans and want to be cool.  My hair is up in a pony tail.  Again, it’s hot in my school and I want to be comfortable.  I also forgot to put mascara on this morning.  I was tired and just sort of threw my hair up and ran out of the house.

My lack of make-up, pony tail, and dislike of my figure is currently combining into an epic battle of self-consciousness.  Normally, if my hair is in it’s usual bun, and I’m dressed and feeling similarly, I can say to myself, “Ok.  This is a bad day. Don’t worry though.  Your body is probably just in your head, and the rest of you looks how you always look.  No one is saying anything.”  Today however, I am convinced that everyone is talking about me.  I’ve been relatively put together all week and all of a sudden, I’m big, tired, and messy.  I’ve seen the way a lot of my co-workers react when my other co-workers, who typically wear make-up every day, don’t wear mascara for the day.  “Are you sick?”  “You don’t look so good.”  “You look bad today.”  “Oh.  Today you are tired.”  I work in a place where people feel they are entitled to say whatever they want.  And they do so.  Without qualm. I don’t ever want to feel like that.  I want to feel good and sassy and pretty (or sexy depending on the context), when I make myself up.  But I also want to feel comfortable and confident when I don’t.  Instead, today, I have this uneasy feeling in my stomach.  This, “You shouldn’t have forgotten.  You look gross.” feeling that won’t go away.  Maybe it’s because of the experiment.  I’m hyper aware of my feeling surrounding getting done up and looking put together, so maybe that’s effecting my ability to process or let go of the fact that I’m not feeling so great about myself today.   I’m not sure.

As always, I’ll chronicle any comments from the peanut gallery and we’ll continue the experiment on Monday with curly hair.

Update:

No one said anything to me again today, except my principal.  I had an unexpected meeting with my principal the last period of the day (everything is fine, thanks for asking).  I walked in, and as has become her fashion over the last few months, the first thing she said was, “Have you lost weight?”.  She reminds me of my grams every time she does that (that’s where the comparison ends).  My grams, every time I saw her, regardless of fact, would always tell me she thought I lost weight.  God rest that woman’s beautiful soul.

Nothing so exciting today.  Monday here I come.

Number 4: Time to get some pistols and a doctor on site.

Well if this doesn’t fit how I’m feeling today.  I’ve had a busy week and that may be contributing to my mood.  Last night I started grading January, English Common Core, regents exams.  It’s mind numbing.  MIND NUMBING.  I spent from 5-9pm reading essays about whether or not the US should eliminate Daylight Savings Time.  You grade one school, one group/class at a time.  If the teacher is good, every single essay sounds exactly the same.  They are written exactly the same. I get it.  You are giving your students tools to succeed, but HOT DAMN.  Mind.  Numbing.

Anyways, back to how I’m feeling.  I got home late, obviously.  I took a much needed shower, and relaxed for a few minutes (and waited for my Chinese food delivery – cut me some slack…it was late and I haven’t grocery shopped), and eventually got into bed around midnight, which is pretty standard for me.

This morning I am feeling feisty.  On top of doing my hair and wearing mascara, I’ve been trying to wear “nice”/”work” clothes every day.  This morning, I had worked through the typical 3/5 shirts that I like right now and couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear.  My eyes were blurry with sleep and then I had to get up and straighten my hair.  My hair was more difficult to straighten today because I fell asleep with it wet so it set curly.  I wanted to spare my hair the extra heat treatment from blow drying it (or I was just lazy).  Either way, I definitely started to resent this whole getting up early, straightening my hair and wearing makeup.

Is this little experiment over yet?

Update on today…

I received several comments that I looked nice today.  Here’s a brief description of what I’m wearing.  Black converse.  Black leggings, rolled up slightly.  And a black Harry Potter t-shirt.  A “Hogwarts Hufflepuff Seeker” t-shirt.  With a badger on it.

What?  This is the outfit that makes me look good?  This one?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it!  This is my look.  I live in leggings and t-shirts so if that’s what y’all think I look good in, bring on the compliments!

Many people even said, “I don’t know what it is today, but you look great! Maybe it’s the hair?”  Maybe it was, but my hair has been straight all week, so unlikely.

Whatever the reason; slimming all black, straight hair, of the confident walk of a nerd in her element, today I got a lot of compliments.  They left me feeling slightly confused, but overall feeling ok.

One more day of straight hair and makeup.  Next week I’ve decided to continue the chronicle (there were after all, 10 duel commandments) and see if the reaction is any different when my hair is fully curly.