“I am NOT putting that in your hair,” is the first statement that flew out of my mouth when my 12-year-old granddaughter Angel pointed to the blue-colored extensions she wanted me to crochet into her hair. I relented when she explained that she didn’t want a blue head, just streaked through.
But, as I crocheted blue extensions into one grandddaughter’s hair and burgundy into another granddaughter’s hair – ages 10 and 12 years old, I wondered what my mother would say if she were alive. Then I put that thought out of my mind when I recalled the look on her face when I previewed my newly locking dreadlocs. No words – negative or positive. Just a look. Not the image I needed in my head trying to understand the new color trend that’s streaking through heads these days.
On the bus, I try to keep my mouth from flying open when a young girl climbs on board with neon green hair. In downtown Baltimore, (my city) a kaleidoscope of blues, purples, greens, (and yellow?) colors parade up and down the streets on what looks like middle and high school girls. But this colorful trend isn’t isolated in youth. Google is inundated with colorful examples, and my 32-in-one-month daughter is has voiced her enthusiasm to going green, purple or whatever. I haven’t seen any guys but that doesn’t mean they haven’t caught the colored-hair fever.
I’m intrigued. Not so much with the colors, some of which I’m convinced could light up the night. It’s the courage of those who dare, to express their inner selves that intrigues me. I love it!
Creative expression is all about finding your true self – the fashions, body art, piercings, lifestyles, and not being afraid to show it to the world. Compared to many, my expressions were boring, not spotlight-worthy. 🙂 For me, with fashion, it was all about skin. I proudly rocked my “kiss me” halter top, my string bikini, and ignored raised eyebrows when I wore my bra-less tube tops – sometimes with striped, knee-length white socks and shorts trimmed in white. (I know, don’t ask 🙂 ). Later, when I was dating my younger daughter’s father, he bought me a gold and black (bodysuit?) for our New Year’s excursion, and I promptly put on a white bra to wear under the semi-sheer top.
Creative expression? Not so much. Too much alcohol is more like it. 🙂 Stepping out of my middle class comfort zone and dreadlocking my hair
was my first major step toward finding and showcasing my inner me.
I have a yogi Facebook friend who inspires me with her world travels and passion for finding the most talented tattoo artists to add to her impressive collection of body art. And I can’t neglect the fact that when two of my daughters turned 18, I took them to get the body art of their choice: a belly piercing for my middle daughter, and a tattoo for her younger sister. I still remember my mother’s words when she saw her granddaughter’s belly ring, “why would you put something there?” 🙂
But I have a healthy respect for all forms of creative expression. I was 34 when I decided to loc my natural hair after years of relaxers, hot combs, braids, extensions, and not just a dissatisfaction with ALL of it, but a deeper feeling that they didn’t express MY personality.
I’ve always had a freedom-of-speech-mind, all for shouting out your inner passions to the world, and that’s the mindset I call on while I’m crocheting blue and burgundy extensions into my granddaughter’s heads. But I’m also a grandmother, older and trying to balance my hopefully wiser self with my approval of experimenting with different forms of expression to find your inner self. So I have to ask myself, What if one day my granddaughters want me to crochet their whole heads in the color of their choice, or (gasp) support them with something much more controversial?
I know for a fact that in the name of creative expression, I’ll ….
(to be announced at a hopefully much, much, much, later date) 🙂