This afternoon I had a hair appointment. It was extra long because I was getting some extensive bleaching and dying done. There were several other women in the salon at the same time, one of who had a gaggle of daughters with her. The youngest of the girls gave me the side-eye a few times while the stylist was applying the bleach and foils to my hair. I smiled at her when she made eye contact, assuming she was fascinated with the dying process, especially since she had seen that I had bright purple streaks in my hair when I first came in.
As the stylist was finishing up with my foil packets the little girl sidled over to me and, in a surprisingly earnest tone for an 11 year old said, “You’re very pretty”. I was momentarily taken aback but also quite charmed (hey, I never said I wasn’t shallow…heh). Smiling again, I replied with, “Well thank you! So are you!”.
I hope she believed me, because it’s true. I also hope she holds onto her own incredible generosity of spirit as she grows up. I hope she doesn’t have it bullied and shamed out of her by asshole kids and a shitty society that tries to convince girls that their worth is determined by their clothing size.
The little girl had to head out when her mom’s hair was done, long before I was out from under the foils and hood dryer. She was disappointed that she wasn’t going to get to see what my hair came out looking like, and I was a little sad that I didn’t get to see her eyes go wide in wonder at the swirls of bright green, blue and purple that emerged from under my stylist’s talented hands. I think she would have liked it: