Me and my hair have always had an apathetic disengaged relationship. It acknowledges me with politeness during holiday gatherings, inquiring nonchantly regarding my current “escapades,” but the indifference cannot be disguised. For the past two weeks, however, the tension radiates for other’s to pick up on: “your hair is quite…” they stammer, “getting long.” They are polite where my strands are not…gangly, limpy, just hanging there…content in deadness. But, the hair has to stay for a couple of weeks until my Locks of Love task…but in the meantime, I complain about it more than I complained of a lack of sun in the Seattle Winter!
Today, the comment was “you have to worry about your looks so much because you are single.” Which is funny, because I truly think all women have borderline personality disorder when it comes to their hair. The comment was NOT from a man, however, but a married nurse, who by the way, has vibrant highlights. I shuddered at the remark while appearing cool, “ I guess it makes up for all the time not spent putting the toilet seat down…”
My feminist rational brain defended against this remark, until, despite my strong denial, I accepted that sometimes, I really wished I was in a relationship because when I’ve been in one in the past, I felt good about my appearance, and good that everyday, someone was responsible for noticing me.
Now I know that a lot of relationships do not cultivate such positive body emotions. And that really it is about the individual’s sense of security. And I don’t worry about my appearance because I don’t have a relationship (let’s reword that: I don’t always think I am single because I feel ugly). But I think she was wrong about the connection between being single and worrying about your appearance…
I have always de-identified myself from my appearance (I took me years to recognize that I am petite at 61 inches). And now, I realize that the appearance thing is really about a sense of worth, a sense of mattering…So I didn’t worry about my appearance and being single, but sometimes, of whether or not I’d ever matter to anyone intimately.
Are you in a relationship? Single? Should I be more worried?