So I recently dyed my hair blue. Actually, my hair stylist did it, and a good thing, too. There’s no way I wanted to have at my own hair with bleach and a tube of dye. Anyone who follows me on Facebook (either my personal profile or my writer’s page) has probably seen a picture or two. So for those of you who haven’t seen me, here’s a picture:
The question I’ve gotten the most is, of course, “why?” Some have jokingly muttered about kids these days, and some have asked with genuine surprise and curiosity about what prompted such a radical and dramatic change.
My primary answer is that I thought it would be fun. And that’s true! I wear clothes I enjoy and jewelry I enjoy, so why not do something fun with my hair, too? I feel a bit like a fairy tale creature when I glimpse myself in the mirror, which just adds to the coolness factor. As a fantasy writer, it’s a special kind of fun going around feeling like a character in a story.
After a week of questions, comments, and a few silent disapproving looks, I started wondering if I had some deeper, darker reason for coloring my hair. Was I actually deeply and subconsciously distraught and this was my way of calling out for attention? Was I feeling stifled and blue hair was my way of rebelling? After wrestling with a lot of self-doubt (I’m so talented that I can have self-doubt about lots of other things in addition to my writing!), I concluded that I was not, in fact, mentally disturbed. All I wanted to do was dye my hair blue.
This got me thinking about stereotypes. Not everyone who wears goth makeup, is covered with tattoos and piercings, or has strangely-colored hair is dangerous or disturbed. (Please note – I am not putting down these different styles, and I’m certainly not belittling anyone who dresses a certain way because they’re searching for help.) Yes, the reason that stereotypes develop in the first place is because of the common traits within a grouping. But I know many people who do not fit their stereotyped group, and perhaps now I am one of them.
I colored my hair because I’m creative and artsy, and I decided that it was time for my outward appearance to reflect that. A couple of people expressed to me that with blue hair I would not look professional – which is true if I were trying to fit in the corporate world. But I am a professional writer and social media entrepreneur (or at least working my way towards that), and in that realm, blue hair is just as “professional” as any other color or style.
So maybe I did have a deeper reason for dyeing my hair, after all – to show the world that sometimes negative stereotypes can be wrong, and that blue hair is nothing more than just another color of creativity.