Is Your Hair Holding You Back?

By Lisa

Drawing by Charlotte S
Drawing by Charlotte S

In the first episode of 1994 TV show My So-Called Life, protagonist Angela Chase says something that has been coming back to me recently. “… when Rayanne Graff told me my hair was holding me back, I had to listen.” Angela says, as she dyes her hair crimson, “Because she wasn’t just talking about my hair. She was talking about my life.” With every seasonal change, I get the urge to make changes to my style; that’s especially true each spring.

Spring is to me what New Years is to most other people: a time of possibility and positive change. Of course, warmer weather forces me to change the rotation of clothes in my closet, from sweaters to tees and jeans to shorts… but rising temperatures are also guaranteed to make me want to get a haircut or find a cool pair of shoes (that don’t match with anything I own) in a vain struggle toward bolder style. There’s a lot to this phenomenon: it comes from a strange mixture of boredom, curiosity, and excitement. This year, I faced winter excited to layer shirts and scarves and sweaters and wear those awesome faux-distressed-socks with my boots. But then it got so cold and slushy outside, and all I pretty much just wanted to wear jeans and sweatshirts (thank you, Polar Vortex).

So, was my uniform of bland, warm clothing holding me back? That really depends on how you see it. Fashion can be a huge mode of self-expression for me, when I’m feeling interested in it. The sweatshirts weren’t too telling as far as my personality goes; they were more revealing if you were wondering which clubs I belong to at school or which beaches I’ve visited. They provided a form of self-expression, if not a very creative one. I’m not saying that anyone should take life advice from Rayanne Graff (if you’ve seen MSCL, you know it’s probably not the best idea), but she has a point: changes to your style really can give you some sort of new energy. However, you don’t necessarily need hair dye to express yourself through style (unless you feel like you do).

Most days these past few months, I’ve lacked the inclination to work on an outfit. Now I’m realizing I miss getting a little bit creative first thing in the morning. During the school day, there is so little time for creativity. On the mornings that I would plan out a more detailed outfit, I’d feel like I had turned a daily necessity into a creative exercise. Even on the days when I returned home only to look in the mirror and wonder why I’d liked the day’s outfit to begin with, I felt better knowing I’d made an effort to try something new and experiment with whatever was hanging in my closet. I’d added a dash of invention to an otherwise average morning, and to me, that was something worth feeling excited about.

Spring holds this sense of possibility, this infectious energy that spreads with every cliché floral reminder that the season has arrived. This year, it will be a time for making stylistic choices that excite me, and trying to make the most of waking up early. Although I probably won’t make a drastic change to my style in general, I’ll begin to have fun getting dressed again; that’s what counts.

1 Comment

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  1. I was actually just thinking about this–I used to put a lot of effort into dressing up just out of boredom, but now I practically have a uniform of “t-shirt&jeans.”
    Fashion can be such a great method of self-expression but can also feel like it takes too much energy. Definitely going to keep this in mind and try to have fun w/ it again!

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