From 2002 to 2008 there wasn’t much to compliment about me. Taller and chubbier then nearly all of my classmates, I was in the midst of one of the most awkward of awkward stages. Despite the fact that I was quite frankly the epitome of an adolescent disaster, an ugly duckling at best, there was one thing that people seemed to take notice of and not in the negative way they were taking notice of everything else. My long thick dark chocolate brown hair. Even my older more beautiful sister seemed envious of my hair. I came to glorify my hair as my best feature; in my mind it was my single characteristic that lacked a need for improvement.
The end of 2008 brought about the beginning of the end of my awkward stage, or at least that’s what I like to think, despite the fact that 6th grade is awkward for anyone. I was at least in a sense emerging out of my physically awkward stage. People began complimenting me on other attributes, and my hair took a backseat in what seemed to be people’s positive impression of me. My hair and I were growing apart.
In May of 2009 everything changed. I had hit a bump in the road in my relationship with my hair (gosh that sounds ridiculous). While waiting for a table at a restaurant with my family a blonde girl walked by, and to me, this girl looked pretty awful. She was dressed decently and she had a cute figure, but her hair made me cringe, an awful fake blonde with one too many highlights or lowlights or whatever it is. I caught my older brother looking at her and was appalled. Naturally, I immediately pointed out to him that her hair was tragic to which he replied “guys like blondes.” This whole story is quite ironic actually, because I don’t think my brother has ever actually dated a blonde, but at the influential age of 13 it had quite the effect on me. My eyes had so suddenly been opened, and so began my infatuation with what I like to call “the blonde complex.”
Everywhere I looked I saw blondes. On the covers of magazines and playing the “hot girlfriend” in bad teen movies, it seemed I was surrounded. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw, ok not really that dramatic but you get what I’m saying. I questioned why it was that blondes seemed to embody ideal beauty. “I know that’s not your real hair color,” I found myself mentally shouting at random blondes across the cereal aisle in Publix.
I sought advice where all teen girls should seek advice, the Bible. Just kidding, I was reading Tina Fey’s bestselling novel Bossypants, and came across her commentary on the struggle of being a brunette. Like me, she pretty much bashed blondes. But then she made a point that I found quite enlightening and which in its simple manner solved this obsession with the “blonde complex.” She wrote, “If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?”
No one actually looks at a blonde or a brunette and determines their attractiveness based solely on the shade of their hair, because who really cares that much. Everyone is too obsessed with themselves, clearly because I just wrote a whole article about the color of my hair. Hats off to Tina, and hats off to blondes and brunettes everywhere. Not redheads though, I’m being generous as it is.