What type of image does curly hair convey in social circles? I know I already discussed curly hair in the workplace, but what about in….*gasp*…dating life? Is there a negative connotation towards my curly brothers and sisters when going up against their straight-haired counterparts? Does the modern ‘Western’ idea of beauty fail to address that which has been glorified for centuries?
Cute. Fun. Eccentric. Adorable. Young. Sweet. These are all words I’ve heard others use to describe me (among other, more unflattering things, but I’ll try my damnedest to keep this post rated ‘G’…). I realize that my hair is a large factor in how people perceive me. The curls can make me seem younger, as the spirals are reminiscent of the cherubic little children in commercials and advertising throughout history. But in some cases, I want to be taken seriously. Similar to my gripe about curlism in the workplace, it is my belief that curlism strongly exists in the dating world. Or perhaps it’s my own perception?
I distinctly recall, as a young[er] Jess, getting excited about going on a date. I was going to wear a sleek, silk black dress with tiny rhinestones around the bow at the waist – very classic and sophisticated. When I asked a friend how I should wear my hair, she offered, “Straighten it! That’ll go with the sexiness of the dress.” This essentially sums up how I view my curls.
Curls are fun, and daring, and make me feel like I can get away with lots of different outfit choices. As someone who has always believed that confidence equals sex appeal, I am shocked at my own idea of straight hair still getting all the love attention. I guess it has to do with this: I rarely, if ever, have a guy come up and tell me that my hair is awesome. On the rare occasion that I do go to the bar with some girlfriends, and I decide to wear my hair down, copious girls (often, drunk ones…) will tell me that my hair is awesome (while slightly trying to restrain themselves from sticking their hands in it). Glorious bathroom conversations ensue. However, out on the dance floor? Not a chance that a guy will approach me, especially based solely on my curls. Again, perhaps this is just me (as I’m in a long-term, committed relationship, I do admittedly give off pretty harsh “STAY AWAY FROM ME!” vibes).
My second case in point: the rare two occasions that I have straightened my hair and accompanied some friends to a beverage-partaking establishment (which isn’t to say that this is something I frequently do; it’s not, and usually, on these events, I am the beloved DD), I have been approached. Some may even say, the poor schmucks attempted to ‘hit on’ me. While laughter-inducing, it also solidified my belief that curly hair, perhaps, isn’t as attractive to the opposite sex.
Finally, when I was younger and, yes, played with Barbies….I never wanted the curly haired Barbie. Brown, frizzy hair? Ugh! No thanks! I’ve got enough of that! I always opted for the straight, long, blond-haired options (aside from Jasmine because damn, she was gorgeous!). Obviously, this could have been due to a lot of social factors…including targeted advertising, fewer curly-haired Barbie options, and what was routinely given to me as gifts (things I didn’t have a ton of say about when I was quite young). Still, it was something I felt very strongly about as a 7-year-old.
People I have dated have assured me that my hair is a great part of what attracted them to me. However, is this a small sample of the population? Is this a common occurrence?
What do you think? Is curly hair sexy, or will it always have a ‘cute and cuddly’ kind of rap?