When it comes to appearances, there have only been a few times where I care what I look like. What You See Is What You Get.
While growing up, I didn’t care if I had mud on my face, dirt under my nails, or knees that weren’t scraped up.
I wasn’t a going out kind of person until college, and even then I didn’t pay particular close attention to fashion. Perhaps with my father and grandfather being clothing salesmen, and my dad was always fashionable when it came to when one is allowed to prance around in white shoes and belts and when they had to be put away. Perhaps there’s a gene that goes back to my grandfather’s sister, Vera Maxwell. I think I have the right familial connection, the fashion star way thirty to forty years before my star was even lit.
For my favorite fashion making statement, I was into sneakers and untucked shirts way before it was fashionable. And I hated when Izod up turned collars were the trend. Never, never was I willing to look like a vampire, especially at a bar.
As I said, I started late in life in having the desire to be out of the house, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, and that phase was over with before I hit twenty-eight. I don’t remember. I may have to do some journal searching for this answer. But since I’m half my life past that point, it has been a while.
For most of my life, I’ve had jobs or have been in school, where fashion doesn’t mean diddly-squat. Well, maybe the five years at Willamette Leadership Academy where I wore a uniform, but I resisted the formal outfit mostly because the dorky captain pilot hat, and had no problem with combat boots and a baseball cap. The BDUs gave me lots of pockets. Green isn’t my favorite color, but who cares? The ten years at the paper didn’t care if I wore jeans every day. As a substitute teacher, no one has ever said anything about my casual wear, especially during the early days of baseball season where it’s Red Sox clothes all the way.
I did mention that I have avoided looking like what I perceive as being a dork; so, there is a filter in my brain that says that I don’t like my look; there is a lot of not wanting others to perceive me as a dork as well, but not as much.
When it comes to make up, I have never ever gotten the point? I’d watch my mom put the stuff on, but I don’t ever recall wanting to do the same and be like her. When my sisters got married, I did let them “doll me up” though probably not very willingly the first two times. By Deb’s wedding, I knew it wouldn’t stain me or last very long. My dad got a kick out of it and kept asking me who I was.
He did the same thing the first time I came home with very short hair. He called me Seymour. I was a young twenty-something. I would get so mad when people, especially men, referred to me as male. The worst combined my under eighteen youthful appearance and looking like a boy, a young boy at that. It took me a long time to not get agitated. I just didn’t understand why gender even played a part in our dialogue or business transaction. A thank you or come shop again goes a long way. Sir or ma’am doesn’t have to be in the statement. Okay, so back up to WLA when all cadets had to include that in statements and questions. By then I wasn’t as concerned about it. I no longer cared what gender people associated me with.
The other day I went to a very gender specific hair-cutting place. Sports Clips could be the name. It’s great to be a guy is their logo. First time I went there, she massaged my head. And why shouldn’t I take advantage of watching sports while waiting or while I’m even getting a hair cut. I was worried that they wouldn’t help me. I had been in a place that was giving discounts on male hair cuts and they would not give it to me as if my hair is different. But this place said, no problem. Why not?
The second time, just recently, the woman said that she wished she could get away with a hair cut like mine. I didn’t ask her what she meant. Is it like getting away with a crime? A societal faux pa. (I don’t think the pa is spelled that way, but all my attempts kept giving me the red squiggle.)
For the women I have met with very long hair, most don’t get it cut because their husband or boyfriend wouldn’t like it any other way. It’s a lot of work. I should know. I never liked doing the work and didn’t do the work and would end up at my neighbor’s to get the knots and rat nests out of my hair. Very little girls could wear short hair, but aging and hair length seemed to go together. It was so frustrating during my hockey days when we were required to wear helmets and full face gear. Trying to tuck a bunch of hair out of my eyes was tough. Why boys at that age didn’t have to wear as much protective gear is another thing that got my goat. How about giving me a choice? It’s okay for a boy to get his nose broken, but not a girl?
I might be stepping into stereotypes, but I notice in a overall picture, that it’s okay for little girls to have short hair, though I also notice some people insist on putting a bow on the heads of girls that don’t have much hair. The girl might need a lot of therapy if they are misconstrued as being male, though it’s more horrifying to the parents. I would have been the baby constantly ripping the stupid thing off of my head. I had the same reaction with pink and flowers and dresses. Ick. Ick. Ick. From the beginning. The only reason I failed modern rhythmic gymnastics is because I had to wear a leotard and prance around with a ribbon. Double ick for that. I would have done it if allowed sweats and a T-shirt.
There’s a certain range when women mostly have long hair. It’s unusual to see high school and collegiate athletes with short hair. Pony tails. Braids. I’ve always believed a good team has at least one or two short-haired girls or women.
And then as we age, more and more women go to the short hair. It’s easier and more practical and there’s less to color the grey out. That’s another thing I could care less about. I don’t have much grey, so maybe that’s why I could care less, but somehow I doubt I would care.
I mostly like the fact that when I have short hair, it doesn’t look so bad even with bed-head. Okay, so that does show even I have my limits as to what is allowable.