There is a certain sort of sophistication that comes with curls in different manifestations — cascading down a bare back, a single lock of hair over a shoulder, a few baby strands peeking over a hairline, or those at the end of a high ponytail that swings with every walk.
You always get compliments. It seems that the prevalent ideal of beauty is long, cascading wavy and/or curly hair, and in turn your hair is the envy of many a straight-haired girl. They can’t believe it is that unrealistically beautiful, and they ask “Is it natural or did you get a perm?” (The audacity!)
What they don’t understand is that sometimes, we curly-haired women long for that ramrod-straight hair that hangs in a glossy curtain down our backs. Having curly or wavy hair means your fringe usually has more kinks to iron out than a straight-haired girl’s. Besides, when it comes to flyaways, you’re going to have to break out that gel really well to avoid looking like you have a thousand and one horns attached to your scalp.
The good outweighs the bad though. There is a sort of narcissism that comes with curly hair. Say you’ve been keeping your hair in a bun the whole day. In the privacy of your room at home, you unwind the hairtie and remove your hairpins. The hair falls around your back and shoulders. The tension of the day flows out of you, from hair-root to tip. You notice more curls have set in your hair over the day. You carefully finger-comb them, lest they get ruined. And a lock of your fringe, alluringly wavy in all the right places, falls over your forehead, and you’re staring at your reflection in the mirror. You suddenly look ten times more ethereal than you already were. You look like one of those Tumblr girls, with sweaters tucked into bandage skirts, looking at their feet, hoping to find something to scrutinize in their toenails. Heck, forget them. You look like a reincarnate of Rita bloody Hayworth without even intending to.
And as if the visual isn’t enough, you remove your earrings and every other piece of jewellery you’re wearing. You also remove any makeup you are wearing. With a perfunctory look at the door to ensure it’s locked, you begin to remove your clothes.
Soon, you are standing in nothing but your undergarments. A smile quirks around your lips. You don’t exactly like what you see in the mirror, but your hair is what warm lighting is to naked bodies trying to figure out what they like about each other.
The stage of narcissism is over. You begin to see yourself as you really are – when you’re grinding your face into the pillow every morning, with tousled hair, to regain the vestiges of sleep, or when you’re pulling your hair out in frustration.
Slowly, you lower both your bra straps, and time stills for a while. This is you. Unadulterated, unaffected, undone. Beautiful.