Wednesday, January 25, 2017

No, I Won't Remove the Scrunchie

[Note: This is not specifically about any of my current close friends, this is about past people and society at large.]

When I was a kid, I went to a strict K-8 school where we all had to wear uniforms, and they were really strict about jewelry and makeup as well. I was never okay with this. I always wanted to stand out and get attention and I hated looking like everyone else. I told this to everyone the whole time I was there. Then one day, towards the end of 5th grade, I decided I had had enough of blending in. One of the few things we didn't have rules about was how we could wear our hair. I had previously just worn my hair down every day with a soft headband because it was comfy that way, but now I was gonna wear wild styles every day.

The very first wild style I tried out was simply tying a scrunchie around the bow on one of my flat headbands. The bow normally laid flat on my head, so the scrunchie made it pop up, like I had a little pom-pom on top of my head. It definitely stood out. When I first wore it to school, everyone asked me why I had the scrunchie on my head. I answered, "Because it makes my headband look fancier." And every single person told me that my headband looked better before. But here's the thing - I had been wearing that headband for years, YEARS before this moment, and no one had ever complimented me on it. No one had ever commented on my hair or any of my hair accessories before I put that scrunchie in. To claim that my headband looked "better" before meant absolutely nothing to me. I knew there was no way in hell that I would suddenly start getting lots of attention for the old headband - it was just their way of getting me to take off the scrunchie.

The same thing happened throughout the rest of my years at that school - everyone kept pushing me to stop wearing the wild styles and telling me how pretty my hair looked when I wore it in a simpler way. But I had worn simple styles for SEVEN YEARS and no one ever gave me attention for them. And whenever someone complimented me on the simple styles that I still wore once in a while, it was a backhanded compliment like, "SEE! Your hair looks sooooooo pretty when you wear it just in a ponytail, you should do that all the time!"

My response to that, and to all other situations like this one, is that you had your chance. If you liked me "better" before I started doing the behavior that you didn't like, you had plenty of opportunities to give me loads of attention and validation and meet my emotional needs. But you didn't. You made a choice not to do those things, so I've made a choice as a result of your choices, and I'm not turning back. I will never EVER turn back. And no, I won't remove the scrunchie.

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