Monday, December 11, 2006

"Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances." ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

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Amanda recently decided to - yet again - do something different with her hair and though she was initially quite happy with the way it turned out she is now having doubts due to the reactions that she received from some of her friends at school today. Apparently one of her friends went so far as to give her a lecture on conformity and normalcy and, though she probably wouldn't admit it, I think that hurt her a little bit.

As an adult, I don't see the big attraction in styling one's hair like a cartoon character or coloring it in shades that are not in nature's palette but just because it's not something that I would do doesn't mean that it isn't something that other people do on a regular basis. A trip to Sally's Beauty Supply over on West Main Street offers up a veritable cornucopia of hair colors that almost blinds the eyes and, according to the clerk there, they sell a lot of them to a lot of people so it's not like Amanda is alone in the world of wild hair color schemes.

Yes - I would prefer that Amanda have a "normal" head of hair but I am also rather proud of the fact that she has the courage to want to be a little different from everyone else. And, as Baby Liz put it at work the other day, if she's going to have pink or green or purple or whatever color hair then what better time to do it then in high school? Well, yes and no because - lest we all forget - teenagers can be brutal to each other and high school can be four of the most angst-filled years that a person can go through just from peer pressure alone.

From what Amanda was telling me earlier this evening she has been dealing with some peer pressure regarding her new head of hair. I feel bad for her as I can see the disappointment in her eyes from learning that some of her friends are so judgemental that they would threaten to withdraw their friendship simply because of the way she looks. So what if her hair is a rather odd mix of red, purple, pink, and black right now? Does that change the person that she is inside? No - it doesn't but I can tell that the comments are making her doubt herself a little bit and that definitely saddens me because I see that light of independence dimming a little bit.

I can only tell her so much, I can only relate so many stories of "back when I was in high school" because no matter what I say, this is something that she has to deal with on her own. She has to be the one to decide whether her friends' opinions of what she looks like are more important than her own opinions of what she looks like. In the meantime, maybe she can take to heart a quotation that I always liked in high school ...

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Conclusion, 1854
I doubt that Henry David was talking about hairstyles but then again ... why not??

2 comments:

  1. Hang in there Amanda... My now 12 year old son decided when he was about 7 that he wanted a mohawk... I gave him one. But when everyone kept staring and pointing to him, he asked me to cut it. I was actually bummed.. I liked it on him and it was so much "him". Some things are not for everyone but then who wants them to be... Enjoy life be who you want to be. The only person you need to impress is yourself!

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  2. Awww.... man, that's too bad. I thought it loked pretty cool. As a matter of fact, if I thought I could get away with it here at American I would be the next in line asking Baby Liz to dye my hair some strange shade....

    I remember how brutal high school can be... I got a hair cut in my sophmore year that I told the hairstylist to give me "Reba's new short do" yeah, one problem...Reba'a hair is not so naturally curly as mine.

    I was dubbed "Ronald McDonald" my first day in with the new do..... All I wanted to do is cry! But you know what? It passed.... my close friends were still my close friends, and those who chose to make a big deal out of it were not people I wanted to be friends with anyways.

    I know, easy to say now, not so easy when I was going through it!

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