Pink hair, don't care.
About a week ago I dyed my hair pink.
I dyed it pink once before (and no, my hair color didn't change my sex life) but that was a shade I call "chicken shit pink". Nervous about how it would turn out, I went a shade of pastel pink that was the color of my gums and washed out in roughly three weeks max.
This new shade is darker. It's almost magenta. It's bold. It's impossible to ignore, and it's changed my life in a pretty major way. It's changed my life so much that I might have to stick it out with pink until my last breath. That said, check in with me and see if I still feel the same way when I'm 80.
I dyed it this extreme pink partially out of curiosity and boredom, and partially as a temporary treat for my boyfriend who is wild about brightly colored hair. By the way, if think your dude doesn't have a favorite hair color, he's lying.
"Don't get attached," I said. I had plans to lob off all my locks and return to the pixie cut I rocked for many years.
But the minute I was done dying my hair and saw the results I started rethinking that haircut. The color made my skin glow. It made my eyes sparkle. It made me seem more, well, me.
I wasn't the only one who noticed either.
Running errands I couldn't help but notice people staring at me on the street. I smiled at them, and was surprised when they smiled back. I've lived in my neighborhood for the better part of a decade. My neighbors are not the smiling kind. It was strange, but I figured the brisk feel of fall in the air had everyone in good spirits.
Then people started talking to me, women mostly. I'd be in line at the grocery store or waiting to pick up my lunch at a local sandwich place and suddenly someone would be talking to me. It was like women saw my bright pink head and it made me more approachable, more cool somehow. I felt like I was making friends everywhere I looked. For an anxious introvert, this was a big deal.
It was like perfect strangers were treating me like the person I really am.
I drank that shit up like Daniel Day Lewis drinks up milkshakes.
Then the other shoe dropped.
I walked passed a group of men and one of them made a kissing noise. Then another said, "Those rave girls love to fuck, they're dirty."
I just kept walking.
I did this partially because I am a woman and thus, mostly inured to street harassment, but I also kept walking because I felt like I was in a daze. Had that dude just made an assumption about my sexual proclivities based on my hair color?
I took it as a one-off until last night, when I signed onto YourTango's Facebook page to do my Tuesday and Thursday live advice show, "Becca After Dark". It was the first installment and I was so excited and happy that readers were tuning in and asking questions and engaging with each other. But I couldn't ignore some of the comments I was getting from men.
Women said they liked me. They said I seemed like someone they'd want to be friends with. My heart swelled with gladness.
Then one man asked me if the carpet matched the drapes. Another said, "No thanks, she don't look clean." And my personal favorite, "Did your hair turn pink from your orgasms?"
As a short plump blond with glasses, I didn't get a lot of attention positive or negative from men in the world. But my pink hair suddenly let the men of the world know the truth: I'm an unclean slut, and because I've dyed my hair pink they're allowed to tell me so.
The funniest part of all of this is how their behavior made me feel. I wasn't wounded. I wasn't even embarrassed. Their offensive language and behavior made me realize that I need to keep my hair pink, at least for a while.
Because, so what if I am slut? So what if I love having good sex and enjoy talking about it? So what if I'm willing to delve into the nitty gritty of the one essential human acts that connects us all?
That makes me brave.
That makes me a good friend.
That makes me a good writer.
I will wear this hair like a flag until women can look how they want and do as they want without fear they'll be shamed for doing something as innocuous as walking down the street.
And by the way, random dude on the internet, asking about my pubic hair? THERE ARE NO DRAPES.