Lucy has been begging me to let her dye her hair. I have been hiding behind “your school doesn’t allow blue hair dear” but to be honest, it makes me uncomfortable. Hair dying that is. It is not that I think that having blue, or pink, or even green hair will make her into some sort of degenerate gutter punk. It is not that I don’t think dyed hair is pretty or interesting to look at. I am having a hard time putting my little pointy finger on the feeling that I have about the whole thing. It is kind of like a sore tooth, or one of those tiny slivers you get from bark dust. It feels just bad enough to tell me not to do it, but not bad enough for me to understand why.
Part of it for certain, is the feeling that she will have the rest of her life to wrestle with vanity. Drawing and re-drawing her lines in the sand about what she is willing to do to feel beautiful. First there will be make-up, which she is already obsessed with, then come hither outfits. Teeth whitening? Peircing ears and other bits? Maybe some fake boobs? Who knows what the next phase of beauty trends holds for my sweet baby.
Lucy will probably doubt the shape and/or size of her body at some point too. Even the most self confident and smart women I know pick apart their physical flaws from time to time. So why not open the flood gates now and get started? Why not let her have a fun summer of punk rock hair and lip gloss (worth its weight in gold to the almost 6 year old set)? I feel the need to protect her young-ness. Protect the time before she falls down the rabbit hole of vanity and self doubt that is sometimes a part of being a young woman (or middle aged woman for that matter).
Yesterday I compromised. Lucy and I went to Walgreen’s and bought some pink spray on hair color. Lucy and Tennessee took turns in the Mommy’s Beauty Parlour, aka the back yard. Lucy has pink streaked tresses, and Tennessee has, what else but, a pink mohawk. It didn’t feel bad or icky. It felt like having fun and dressing up weird. But I do think that pink hair spray for a day or two is about as far as I am willing to go for now. Tune in next week for temporary lip piercing….