In Which the Writer in Black is Annoyed.

Sometime back in the late 70’s or early 80’s dying hair in “unnatural” colors came into vogue in certain segments of the population. It may have started with the counterculture, punk rock groups (at least that’s where I became aware of it) but spread out a bit from there. It reached a point where, while people might still make assumptions (because people always make assumptions), you couldn’t really say that someone with hair dyed blue, green, purple, or scarlet was part of such a group. It was gaining a small following in the wider community.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, while I was in the Air Force, I met a young woman with purple-dyed hair. On reflection, I think it was more of a purple tint since she didn’t bleach her darker underlying hair. On hearing that my co-worker’s sister (I think it was) had purple hair, my initial reaction was “I could never be interested in someone with purple hair” (quite prejudicial of me, but, well, I was young and stupid so what can I say?). However, when my co-worker had a bunch of us over to his house, she proved to be a perfectly nice young lady. And, so, that was my first introduction to the idea that people experimenting with unconventional styles, including hair colors, does not necessarily mean what many other people would have me believe it meant.

In a similar vein, there was an issue of World’s Finest comics (a series that featured team-ups between Superman and Batman). In the particular issue, they were looking for a missing heiress in order to tell her that she’d just inherited a fortune (if I remember correctly). At one point, and this sticks out vividly in my mind, Superman sees a picture of the missing heiress:

Superman: “She has green hair. Isn’t that some rebellion thing?”

Batman: “Used to be. Now it’s just fashion.”

And that’s exactly where we were headed. We were getting there. I was inspired to dye my own hair by a friend on the Book of Faces who died hers in bright colors which she changed up every so often. A writer of my very distant acquaintance had a “significant other” (they have since married) who also went with bright colored hair.

So I took to dying my hair black with a purple streak and found I liked it. It suits me in ways that my mousy brown (mostly gray now) hair never really did.

Only in recent years another group has taken up the mantle of bright hair coloration. It’s become something of a badge among the perpetually offended, the people who mark status by how many “victim points” they can accumulate allowing them to blame others (with heterosexual white men being the top of the “offender” pyramid) for why their lives aren’t perfect.

So, once again, instead of being a small but rather ordinary fashion trend it has once again become something about which people make assumptions. And those assumptions are nearly diametrically opposed to, well, me.

And that’s annoying.

I suppose I could lose the purple streak. But, dammit, that would be surrender and I’ll be damned first.

So I’m going to continue to wear my purple streak (occasionally switching it for other colors–bright red or blue, for instance). And I’m going to continue to not be part of that group that’s largely taken over the fashion.

I’m just stubborn that way.

5 thoughts on “In Which the Writer in Black is Annoyed.”

  1. FWIW, while some folks will fail to make the distinction — the pattern I see is that it’s unflattering.

    The checkout lady at the El Paso Walmart I use to go to had gorgeous pastel peacock hair. Unusual, yes, but frankly pretty.

    Similarly, our then-four year old had a pixie cut for predictable kid reasons, but it was shaped to flatter her, not to contrast with her.

    Compare either, or both, to the picture at the top, where it doesn’t look nice at all. It looks like someone took a lot of effort to look bad.

    Black hair *does* suit you, and the color stripe contrasts pleasantly. It’s sort of like treating your hair the same way folks treat jewelry.


  2. “I’m offended”.

    “What offenses you”?

    “What every you are for”.

    {Very Very Big Sarcastic Grin]


  3. Honestly your hair color suits you so well I did not notice the purple streak until you drew attention to it. Contrast that with screaming ninnies out there who have decided the most gawd-awful shades of blue, green, red, etc. are there badge of virtue that allows them to proselytize to everybody else about their perceived shortcomings, well need I say more?

    As so many youngsters like to say, you do you.


  4. First, to use the bastardized pseudo-Latin: non illegitimi carborundum!

    Second, I not that long ago had a co-(alleged)worker with mostly natural, I presume, hair color, a bluish-greenish streak. I somehow managed to keep from asking how he’d managed to fall asleep with his hair partly in a copper sulfate solution. Yes, it was THAT color.


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