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Blond Experiment

Today, I am getting my hair done. I will not be dying it blond or red or jet black or even hot pink, all previous colors of my youth. Rather, I will keep my hair in its natural state, a slight dark brown with a couple of caramel splashes.

My mother used to let me dye my hair as a form of expression. Instead of sneaking off and branding myself with a tattoo or piercing some obscure part of my body, I could dye my hair as long as I knew what I was getting into, and as long as I didn’t get in trouble with the principal at my private high school.

Throughout school, from kindegarten to my senior year, I was forced to conform to a silly dress code. Plaid dresses with white blouses in the winter time with stockings that had pre approved thread counts and “loafers”. I shuddered at that word, thinking that my shoes would look more like Frankenstien’s since my feet were unusually large for a girl my age. In the summer, I was to wear a blue and white pin stripe dress, white blouse, and I think I was allowed to wear those shiny, silver LA Gear sneakers that were so popular in the early 90’s. The boys nicknamed them my Star Trek shoes. I would then begin to cry.

It wasn’t until the summer going into my 7thgrade year that I started to push the envelope. I would find create ways to tie that bold, red sweater they made us wear in the winter with our bold red plaid outfit. I painted my nails dark blue. I smeared tiny sparkles on my eyelids on days when I was happy, and on days when I was feeling moody, I’d chip and peel my nail polish. Now, I’m not saying that I started the ‘Emo’ movement, but I was a trendsetter in that little Los Angeles private school.

Then one summer, while swimming with a girlfriend who adored my sense of style and my need for rebellion, sprayed something in my hair that would forever change my life. Sun-in. We spent all day out in the sun, spraying, swimming, giggling about boys, and spraying some more. By the time my mother picked me up, my hair looked like it belonged on the head and body of a cheap cabaret singer in some smokey joint. It was terrible.

From then on, my hair was “treated” by hairdressers, streaked with platinum blond highlights, dyed dark red to emulate my favorite TV show actress, Claire Danes, dipped through hot pink temporary color fo No Doubt concerts, and right before moving away to college, by to its natural state, nearly the same color it is now, dark brown. I still found ways to express myself through my hair in college. After every semester, I would either cut 7 inches off it or dye it a different color, a sort of cathartic thing a woman does after losing a great love in her life. (Oh trust me, I changed my hair after breakups as well).

My boyfriend loves my hair the way that it is, and general consesus of my friend in Austin can’t even imagine a super blond Meredith. To them, I am the dark and long haired woman, wtih poetic pieces of hair that sometimes hang in my eyes, but don’t think that I’m an emo-kid in any way.

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