"I'm a feminist, but" sometimes I wear a hat, not because of my intense love of hats, but for the sole purpose to hide and suffocate grey hairs.
The first sixteenth of the previous sentence is borrowed from the leading podcast in my life. Allow me to introduce you to The Guilty Feminist. We have been engaging for a while now (see retweet here) and I was nervous about you two meeting. This hourly oasis "discusses topics 'all 21st century feminists agree on' while confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that underlie their lofty principles." Also known as my life. They cover all this and douse it with a healthy dose of comedy. It is hilarious. It is inclusive. It is enlightening. I think it's serious.
Breathe easy, though, no political/feminist rabbit holes here. I am not going to discuss what a 21st century feminist looks like because there is no inked stencil. We come in all shapes, woke-ness, and degrees of grey hairs. But, thanks to this podcast, I feel as though it pertinent to confess this truth I hold dear: sometimes my style and vanity collide and vanity wins.
There is no bias when it comes to donning a headpiece. Hats, bandanas, caplets, they all have equal opportunity. My wavy hair explodes from underneath coiling around my face; a go-to look. Plus, it allows room for laziness. Throw on a hat versus wash the hair? The hat wins nine times out of ten. But, vanity clouds my choices every now and again. No pressure from those close to me is applied to remain twenty forever, but the constant media messaging themed around women and aging rears its head. I am strong, but not completely immune to it. The fear of aging inevitability sets in. My grey hairs are one physical representation of this fear. Don't pluck them, they say. They will just come back, they say. Pluck or no pluck, dye or no dye, they seem to be populating all the same. Each year offering a new crop.
So, not all my style choices are style-driven. The choice to wear a hat sometimes stems from insecurity. There are times I don't want my grey hairs on display. Certain days the sprouts reflect brighter in the mirror and I prefer to hide them. Dying my hair aides in this hiding; but, ironically enough, I am the worst at keeping up with hair appointments. What should be every six to eight weeks stretches to every six or eight months. Thus, que the hats. If I shield grey hairs from sun and deprive them water, they will die, no? My theory has yet to prove permanent results, so a hat I will continue to wear.
It is funny how the physical trait which is notable to me and my blog, the one I love the most, also inhabits insecurity. I project perfection on what I love most, a type of my-hair-can-do-no-wrong attitude. So when grey hairs come to crash the party, I recoil in slight embarrassment and cover these self-perceived flaws. Perfection is an illusion though; no new idea there. A trait or lifestyle envied has a flaw or two behind the scenes. I understand that in the caste system of physical flaws, grey hairs are not king. Far from it. Grey hairs do no debilitate me in any way. They do alter my decision making and the way I present myself; and therefore must be confronted and sometimes plucked (I can't help it!).
The next time you see me rockin' a tied bandana or scarf, it could be because the accessory made my outfit or my greys were loud and proud. Neither is wrong or warrants embarrassment. That being said, I am working toward the conscious choice that rockin' a headpiece is to express my style and not compete with aging.
And, now funny faces to distract you from the fact that I have no pictures of my grey hairs in this post. One step at a time, folks. Guess you have to trust me on their existence.