I have curly hair. Thick, copper, unruly hair. Every morning I pause before checking myself out in the mirror, because for some reason I think that this morning I won’t have the pouf sitting atop my head, and that my hair will resemble that of Doris Day’s. However silly this practice may be, I find it the easiest way to cope with waking up to a lion’s mane every morning.
Now, if you were to go watch a fabulously famous movie, or even walk into the hall of any American high school, you would behold a sea of straight-haired girls. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. My point being, my hair is not normal, and to say that I like to be tagged as “the odd woman out,” is despicable, to say the least. Since I was thirteen I have fallen asleep on a pillow filled with thin-haired dreams. I woke up every morning, as I mentioned before, thinking that today would be the day my dreams became a reality. Now, if you have any sense of rationality, you’d have concluded by now that I never did magically wake up with straightened, shiny hair. When putting this story in perspective, you may wonder why I even told it. Why should my hair matter to you? Well, my hair really doesn’t matter to you, but the principle behind my tale does. I put in so much energy and thought into my hair, and it wasn’t just the mornings when I worried about my locks. Thoughts of my unruly pouf occupied me during boring math lessons, and gave me sweaty palms if I had to go out without doing my hair.
As a result, I spent hours upon hours every month worrying, touching, re-doing, and straightening it. After about a year of constant heat on my hair, I had to cut off my long, dry locks, and opt for a short bob. I had put in incredulous effort, and lost hundreds of hair ties, only to ensure that my hair was straight, and as normal, as every other girl’s hair. I was left only with wasted time and damaged hair. So, why did I spend a year trying to tame my curls? I simply wanted people to think I had normal looking hair. I rarely let it down into its natural curl because I saw it as odd to have curly hair in a sea of straight haired girls.
The quote “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal,” speaks to both my head of hair and the world. Society collectively spends impressive amounts of money, for example, to look “normal.” Some will pay thousands for nose jobs, breast augmentations, and other plastic surgeries just to adhere to a westernized idea of beauty. Others will tone down their wardrobe, or spend hundreds on brand clothing, all in the name of regularity. The obsession with convention in our society severely limits originality and diversity, and leads millions to a purposeless lifestyle, devoid of creativity and joy. Workers become automated, in a way, because of the demand for a routine and regular income. Passion has become a luxury, and normality has become wise. However, I stand to argue that the comfortable job never invokes passion, creativity, or diversity. The comfortable job gives no purpose besides providing large-scale companies with a human machine. “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi.
When we continually put out the flame that burns for individuality, only to fight for a humdrum lifestyle, we waste our potential, and throw away our purpose as well. We exhaust our voices, minds, and time just to never be seen. Our desire to impact the world for good is left behind, and the mindlessness of routine interferes, stealing from ourselves, ourselves. Whether it’s letting your hair down or turning away from a regulatory, habitual lifestyle, the way we express our individuality will end up saving the world, and ourselves, inexplicable time and resources. By invoking eccentricity in the world, passions will grow stronger, worlds will expand bigger, and curly hair will thrive.