Curly, Hairy and Woe

Curly, Hairy, and Woe: The story of a girl's struggle with her hair. If my life were a TV sitcom, that would be the title. While I can't necessarily remember the first book I read or my first steps, I have an abundance of memories of my hair. One of the most prominent is when I was seven years old and every Sunday my mom would attempt to brush my lion's mane. As she squirted some noisome, spray detangler while simultaneously brushing my hair with a blue, hair-wrapped-up-in-its teeth comb, I would always contemplate how nice it would be to have pretty straight hair where you could actually run a comb through it without suffering from massive whiplash.

But, over the years, I have gotten used to the crazy curly strands on the top of my head. It was quite easy to become Medusa for a Latin convention one year- I didn't even need bobby pins to attach the rubber snakes onto my head. Dancers were jealous at my mad skills to put my hair into a bun without the use of a ponytail holder, ooing and ahhing as I did chaine turns across the floor without my bun falling out. While I have grown to appreciate my hair much more than my seven year old self, I especially have begun to appreciate the lessons my hair has taught me.

When I was in middle school, like every tween, all I wanted was to fit in, but being a curly brunette in a sea of straight blondes did not help. To mend this, some days I would wake up early to straighten my hair; other days I would shove my hair in a ponytail in order to draw less attention to my curls. But my hair refused to cooperate. When I would straighten my hair, it would come back more resilient and instantly return to its normal, curly self in the humid Baltimore weather. When I put my hair in a ponytail, frizzy, curly strands would poke out at the front of my head and taunt me, daring me to try to tame it. Eventually it was hair 1, Marin 0, and I wore my hair down for the first time in years. Not only did I feel proud that I had finally had embraced what made unique, I realized I should never silence what made me different.

My hair has also taught me some important things in a bigger picture. In a world of straight-laced people who go from point A to point B, my hair takes the road less traveled. No matter if it needs to defy gravity to accomplish the feat, it will not give up or take the easy way. Additionally, my hair won't let anyone tell it what it can be. Some days my hair will have just the slightest hint of a curl, and other days my hair is coiled so tightly that it can follow simple harmonic motion. For a girl who sees herself as anything from a pediatrician to a journalist, this is definitely a true reflection of who I am.

Yes, some days my hair still feels like the three stooges, a chaotic and funny looking hot mess, but the most important lesson my hair has taught me is to embrace the craziness, because as Sarah Jessica Parker (a fellow curly girl) humorously puts it, "If you feel good with what you're doing, let your freak flag fly."

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