Are we our hair?

I ask myself this a lot because unlike most people in their young adult life, I have never dyed or cut my hair (other than a healthy trim). I don’t think it’s because I am afraid to make a drastic mistake with my locks. I have never really seen the value in caring. I wonder if I’m too blasé faire about my hairstyle. I have never wanted to change the way my up-do looks… is that holding me back from realizing a new confidence in myself? If a change in appearance could actually improve my mental health, then maybe I should be trying new styles or colours to bring out my personality.

Although, I feel connected to the colour and style that I currently have because it reminds me of my younger self. During my time as a nine to fourteen year old, I became increasing aware of the frizziness of my hair. The ponytails and ballet buns that were required for my dance classes started ripping my strands of hair to a point where split ends would happen near the top of my head. My hairdresser, still to this day, brings up my frizz with a look of despair. It was horrible to look at, according to my mom, but I felt indifferent. It made my head look more full and less thin. I wanted to have big hair, not hair that was the width of my head. I was influenced by beautiful women of colour like Beyoncé and other unique artists like Lady GaGa. So my brown, split hair was the constant in my life and I knew that I could control it because it was always the same. Should I have experimented more?

If we, as humans, are directly linked to the long follicles that rest on our head, then we must be also labelled by others by the way our hair looks. For example, a person with spiked black hair could be deemed “a punk”. Moreover, a hairstyle that resembles Rachel Green’s iconic hairstyle could mean that the person is flakey and easily lovable. The equation happens every time:

Style + Length + Colour = Personality

But what if we just want to make our hair a certain way simply for the reason that it makes us feel confident? I sometimes like it when my hair is down straight even when it’s greasy, but does that make me a slob? Will I be judged as a person who doesn’t handle healthy hygiene properly? I only want to try different concepts with my hair as if it rests on my head for the sole purpose that my brain feeds it creativity.

As well, humans lose so much hair every freaking day. We are constantly recreating our style involuntarily and we have the opportunity to do whatever we want with it. Most people throw it away because it’s practically garbage now. I take the time to put it on my shower wall when it starts to follow the water down my back. I create art with the hair that is no longer mine. I stare at it, step away for a second and watch as my body’s garbage turns into a masterpiece.

Then I form a circular path to capture it all up and I throw it away.

 

“I Get Along Without You Very Well” by Chet Baker

This song first came into my life while watching the fourth season of HBO’s Girls. I recognized the name of the artist from the recently popular singer Chet Faker, who’s parody name could anger anyone over the age of sixty. I wanted to listen to the song without interruption because it overlay an ending scene in the show that revealed a moment of power for the main character, Hannah. So, immediately after the credits started rolling, I put the next episode on pause and plugged in my headphones. I was so intrigued by the first impression that I gathered from the song and I wanted to hear it in its entirety. Away I went.

The listening process began with me sitting down in my bed for five seconds and then suddenly springing to action and standing up. I wanted to move. I wanted to dance. I wanted to not only hear this song, but to be a part of the art. I rose with promptness to create a different dimension to the song and was taken to the imaginary stage in my mind. I was physically alone in my room but mentally, I was performing for millions of people. This is usually where songs take me.

As I was kidnapped into the world of Chet Baker, my movements were calm and subtle. Something I haven’t played with in awhile. I felt comfortable and safe to use my body however it went. It wasn’t actually planned by me, but planned by the rhythms that Chet uses. I have experienced improv dancing before, but never truly in this way. It was as if my connection to the music had grown to a new level. A sort of second base… How intimate… 🙂

The emotional energy I experienced had surprised me and it caught me off guard after the song was completed. I happened to be holding a water bottle at the time, thus my biological thirst was being quenched as well as my creative thirst.

Also, the irony of the song is incredibly well executed. His vocals poetically declare statements but the context is so much more available for the audience. One of my favourite lines is when he talks about “someones laugh that is the same” because it truly exemplifies how sad the tune really is. Chet sings his feelings with a fake confidence about his lover and when listening, the audience is tricked ever so slightly.

Never have I heard a song that encompasses a melancholic train ride so perfectly.