An Unintended Social Experiment

When I decided to dye my hair magenta instead of letting the blue fade out, I was mostly just not finished with my ‘questioning socio-cultural constructs of beauty and attractiveness from within the safe confines of a liberal arts university’ quest, but this has turned into something much more interesting.

The pinkest pink to ever pink

The pinkest pink to ever pink

It’s pink guys, it’s real pink. I did it the first time over Thanksgiving break, and have since refreshed it, instead of switching to a new color. When I did it the first time, I noticed some pretty immediate changes concerning people’s reactions to it. People always stared at the blue, but as soon as they noticed that I’d seen them staring, they would look away. Not so with the pink- some smile at me, some stare even though they’re aware I can see them, and some will look away only to look back a few seconds later. That’s the first big thing- the second big thing is the touching. So many people asked to touch my hair. I mean, it’s just…hair. I know it’s a surprising color and all, but it still feels the same.

Like hair.

That never happened with the blue.

And on Wednesdays, we wear PINK!

And on Wednesdays, we wear PINK!

It continues to occasionally happen, and only with strangers. It was a little disconcerting the first time an unfamiliar person walked up to me and said “Can I touch your hair? Please?”- It turns out weirder things have happened to me. As long as they don’t just stick their fingers into it without asking first. That would be weird.

People say they like the pink better, but I think it may be because the haircut it accompanies is better as well. Some mysteries, though, will never be solved. I don’t know what any of this means- I just know that it’s an interesting little social experiment, and that I’m going to be sadder than I anticipated to see it go.

I know it seems silly, because my blonde hair is a very nice color, but whenever I see the roots growing back, it just looks so…dull. So normal. I’m not ready to go back to having ‘normal’ blonde hair. Wouldn’t it be nice if nobody cared what color my hair was? If I could change it with my moods, and allow my impressions on it to change with the wind?

Rabbits are not what they seem to be.

Rabbits are not what they seem to be.

There are two kinds of little old ladies at the supermarket. The kind which scowls at me and turns the other way, and the kind which looks wistfully and longingly just above my eyes.

There are two kinds of moms at Target. The ones who steer their kids around me and whisper at them not to stare, and the ones which, with four children under the age of 7 in tow, tell me that my hair looks fantastic and that they wish they were that bold.

There are two kinds of people who drive pickup trucks. The old men who scowl unnecessarily out their window and into mine on the highway, and the women who roll down their windows and flash me thumbs up signs with huge smiles at stoplights.

Kids are the very best: they’ll stare at me like I’m the best thing since pockets, and they’ll smile like I’ve just told them the secret to happiness, and then they’ll just accept it at move on. It’s inspirational, really.

One of my favorite parts may be walking into new rooms and places and checking to see what sort of shade it is with different lighting. It was definitely purple at one point. Indisputably so.

One pink to rule them all

One pink to rule them all

It makes me smile to know I’ve brightened (literally. hah.) someone’s day, and I can only hope that the people who don’t approve are off somewhere having a powwow and discussing their archaic stereotyping habits. I like the general effect I have on people, especially since it’s usually a smile. The frowns just make me laugh, anyways. It’s also oddly comforting (and this is surprising because I am a textbook introvert), to walk around and know that everyone’s staring at me, and it’s because I’m fabulous. I’ve gotten rather good at observing people, because I know they’re observing me. The people-watching may be a lot more conspicuous, but it’s also exponentially more fun.

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