Friday, 14 April 2006

Straight = Boring

I was going to post about something else that bothered me recently but this landed in my Inbox this morning. It’s from Daily Candy, those nice people who keep me in touch with what’s ‘hot’ in the realms of shopping and… shopping, er, can’t think of anything else they tell me about, actually.
You Polaroid your outfits, update your virus software, and drink eight glasses a day. A wild woman of Borneo you’re not, but try telling that to your hair.

Those curls have been known to derail an otherwise perfectly scheduled day. So when your primper’s elbow is flaring up and you can’t manage to squeeze in a blow-out, what’s a girl with a rat’s nest to do?

Easy. XYZ [I’m not going to give them free publicity, am I?] is an at-home hair straightener that uses food preservatives and sugar to temporarily rearrange the hair structure, giving you a sleek, shiny mane that lasts for about a week.

Here’s how it works: First, a gel relaxes the kink and softens the hair cuticle. Next, a creamy sealer sets things straight. And finally, the leave-in conditioner gives you smooth and glossy locks — all in about the same amount of time that it normally takes you to shower, shampoo, and shave.

Which means you’ll still have plenty of time to alphabetize those Polaroids.
Well, that certainly derailed my ‘perfectly scheduled day’ (I wish!). Please, could someone tell me who decided that curly hair was worse than any other physical defect? When did they decide it? And why does everyone believe it?

I have curly hair (it’s rather frizzy now and rapidly vanishing from my head, but in its heyday it was nice). I’ve always had curly hair and never ever wished for it to be straight. We used to say of someone with the kind of straight hair that resists any styling, “Elle a les cheveux raides comme des baguettes de tambour,” (another little translation exercise for you). And it wasn’t a compliment. Since when is having that kind of boring and unmanageable hair a desirable thing? I didn’t like it then, I still don’t.

Julia Roberts was never so attractive as when she had those bouncy curls. Nicole Kidman has naturally curly/frizzy red hair and she was so cute in Bangkok Hilton, the TV drama that brought her to our attention here in the UK. They both look awful with flat, lifeless hair. They look wrong, you know, like people who normally wear glasses do when they take them off.

I’ve been waiting for the fashion for straight hair to die, but it doesn’t seem to want to: they keep producing new and better hair straighteners all the time – ceramic and liquid ones (‘food preservatives and sugar’, yuck!).

I demand a return to hair freedom!


PS. Life’s too short to take pictures of your clothes. Only saying…


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I was going to comment, but instead I'm pretending I didn't see/read that. happy holidays, bela, Jx

  3. I wish I hadn't seen that either, JvS. Who are those nutters?!

    What were you going to say? I'd like to know.

    Happy holidays to you too! Jx

  4. Sorry about the comment moderation thing, folks! Hope it's only temporary.

  5. I'm all for hair freedom, as long as that doesn't mean my hair feels free to leave me. I hate to be shallow, but I don't wanta lose my hair!

    The folks who make hair products want people with straight hair to desire curly hair, and for people with curly hair to want straight hair. In other words: they want your money.

    BTW, I don't think Julia Roberts hair is naturally curly.

  6. I'm glad you moderated. Truly there is a time and place for censorship!

    I was going to say if I had lovely curly hair I wouldn't destroy my hair by ironing it. However I have wide hair. Very very wide. Neither straight nor curly, not terrible in its natural state, but sleekish and glossier makes for a more content with the physical appearance me.

    I think the way straighteners and smoothing shampoos etc are marketed, as with any trend, is obscene, however. Not conforming to this week's standard of beauty is held up as shocking. We're constantly beaten by whatever we're not. A cunning ploy to make sure we're always spending and yearning and spending. It's sad I bought in to it and started to feel inadequate without five minutes of Remington affection.

    I'd rather be truly curly though.

    Although doubtless I'd find some disatisfaction in that.

  7. TLP, my hair - which has until now been my best feature - has been falling out for the past five years, because of the menopause. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. It's starting to show (it's taken all that time because I was lucky to have very thick hair to begin with). If I were a man I would probably be very sad about it but not distressed the way I am from time to time, when I am being shallow and forget there are much worse things than losing one's hair, but I can't help it. It's true to say that I get annoyed by hair product ads these days - any hair products, not just hair straighteners (but they aggravate me more than any other kind). There doesn't seem to be anything else on TV.

    Sure, manufacturers want our money. I'm just not aware of as many ads for products designed to make your hair curl as the other way around. For the past several years the fashion has been to have straight hair. LOL! It's like when they say, "This year the fashion is for long hair!" Er, how do you get from short to long overnight?

    Julia Roberts doesn't have naturally curly hair?! But, but… she looks so wrong with straight hair! I'm disappointed. Nicole Kidman does, though. She was very young in Bangkok Hilton and totally au naturel: she wore glasses, was covered in freckles and her hairline was in the right place too. LOL!

    JvS, I had to. The guy came back. It was the only way to keep him out. How he is allowed to have a blog and post on it and everywhere else is beyond me. Yuck!

    I would hope you wouldn't iron out your lovely curls, but publicity is very persuasive, and, yes, you might be dissatisfied with it somehow. You’ve described what happens very eloquently. It is rather sad.

  8. I've got stupid hair that is not curly and not straight. I have to choose with each wash to encourage it one way or the other. And then it rains and whoops, it's gone the ther way. The worst thing is a fringe (bangs, in US English) that kinks - you risk looking like a moron.

    I understand why you're moderating. Disagreement is one thing, outright rudeness from a complete stranger is not something you would tolerate in the 'real' world so why should you tolerate it here? And we all don't want to see it, either.

  9. Lucky for me I have naturally curly hair and as of recently I have decided to embrace it after spending years of fighting it. These straightener "systems" seem like too much work now a days!

    BTW, only people with nothing else to do would photograph their wardrobe, but photographing your shoes and putting the picture on the outside of the shoe box is smart.

  10. *sigh* I own the most wonderful head of curls, unfortunately they are difficult for others to manage. And since the aides do the daily combing and styling, I choose to have it blown straight (still maintaining body)in order to avoid terrible tangling and the likes. Sooo much easier and neater looking.
    When I was first injured, after three weeks of no combing (not possible)my hair was terribly matted and was cut to about three inches in length! Well I was better adjusted to paralysis than a shorn head!!! oooohhh the vanity. So I do VERY much get yur pain.
    I am long locked again...though sans curls. I realize for me, straight hair is the lesser of the two evils! ;-)

    Bela your e-mail address was lost when my computer crashed my friend.

  11. My hair has a natural wave in it and I've never gone along with the style of "Straightening it out, so it will look pretty" Um, what's wrong with it now? :-)

    I actually have hair stylists use the natural wave in my hair to make it look wavier and give it more "OOMPH". I guess according to your magazine and the U.S. ones too I'm the oddball. Oh, well... I think that I can live with that ;-)

    Thank you Bela, for this thread. I'm so very tired of What's "In" and What's "Out". FEH! :)

  12. L, mine was a sweeping statement that obviously doesn’t apply to everybody. Mostly what I was trying to say was that we should all be able (and allowed) to choose what sort of style we adopt – whether or not it’s the best for us, actually. The way I’ve had my hair all those year may not be the most flattering style, but it’s me: it’s part of my personality and that’s why I’m so upset about its loss. I understand other women like to change their hairstyle all the time; I never did. And that should be fine too.

    Thanks for being so understanding about the moderating. It’s nothing to do with censorship; it’s to do with decency.

    Welcome to my blog, Samida! And for your comment. I’m glad you saw the light, as it were. LOL!

    You’re right: if I had an extensive collection of shoes I probably would do that too. I’ve seen it advised in magazines. It’s a good idea.

    SL, I understand absolutely. I’m sorry you can’t set your curls free, though.

    So much emphasis is put on having a full head of hair, especially in the case of women, that one feels desperate at the thought of not looking ‘normal’. Abundant hair is also a sign of youth and health – even more than colour – so it’s doubly difficult. I know my ‘self’ doesn’t reside in my hair and I could function perfectly well without any hair at all (I’m not Samson – my hair doesn’t give me special powers), unfortunately, as you know, the world expects one to look reasonably ok. The head is the most important part of the body and the one thing you can’t hide (unless you’re from a culture that dictates it should be kept from sight; wonder if I could convert, LOL!). I expect I’m punished for rejoicing so much at the thought of not having to have chemotherapy and losing my hair, all those years ago. I was certainly better adjusted to losing my breasts than my hair.

    Good for you, T! And someone has to stand up to those fashion nazis. LOL!

  13. what i would give for a kink or a curl!

    it doesn't matter what products or equipment i use on my hair...within three minutes it's as straight as a rod

    i, for one, celebrate all hair types and am also a little tired of this obsessive ironing phenomenon (and i'm realising that lots of people clearly have WAY more time in the mornings than i do!)

  14. You should be over the moon, UC: your kind of hair has been in fashion for years and you don't have to spend any time getting it that way. LOL!

    We're never satisfied with our lot, are we?

  15. How do ladies, at least I think you are ladies from the discussions on your groovy blog.

    Personally I am all for hair freedom too and I always tell my wife Helena that she is welcome to do whatever she wants with her hairdo. Right now she has it short and butch and I kinda like that look.

    Anyway I gots to skeedaddle! Hotdigglydoogly!

    Love Desmond

  16. Hi, Pa Squirrel, how nice of you to visit! I'm very glad you and your wife agree on her hairdo. LOL!

  17. Hi Bela,
    Over here from cjblue's blog. I am one of the straight haired people - so straight the little bits left from a hair cut give me splinters. While I never got to the point where I bought one of those kinking irons (crimpers I think they are called), I recall in the 80s wanting curly mounds of hair that would spill all wild and crazy over my head. So yes, fickle fashion. Give it a while. It will come around to waves and curls again. As for losing it, with straight hair I think it may be more noticable more quickly. I know someone with mild loss from thyroid problems and it is, unfortunately, rather apparent.

    Glad I didn't see the comment you deleted. I've had to moderate in the past too. I don't like it but I also don't want trolls on my blog. Good luck with the trollish one.

  18. Like the bra ad that went 'only the balls should bounce' tennis wise. Why on earth?

    I dread to think what advertisers would say if they saw my unexfoliated, poorly dressed, plentiful hips. I'm ruining the state fashion. I can see it happening, no thought crime to be afraid of, but as (if) things become more fascistic 'fashion crime'. Locked up for having eyebrows with too much body, a skirt that's 2cm too long, hair one shade to light...

  19. Welcome to my blog, PFG! You’re right: the fashion for curly hair will probably come around again, but when? I’ve just read an interview with a famous BBC anchorwoman; she says that you cannot have curly hair on TV: it doesn’t photograph well and doesn’t look serious. You just can’t. With attitudes like that, there’s no hope of hair freedom any time soon.

    Hair falling out pathologically, as in my case, is fairly rare. Hair thins at the menopause, but doesn’t normally fall out in great quantities. Since it’s genetic, I was apparently destined to suffer from that problem and I didn’t know it (just as well probably: I would have worried for years and years, wondering when it would happen). It also appears that it affects women who have very abundant and thick hair in the first place. Great, eh? It would definitely show a lot more if my hair was straight, but very soon it won’t matter what kind of hair I have (or had). :-(

    Doesn’t taking thyroxine help your friend’s problem? I’m told it does, usually. The ironic thing with me was that my hair loss was thought to be caused by hypothyroidism at first so I was full of hope, but, although, I was hypothyroid, it had nothing to do with it and thyroxine hasn’t made any difference.

    It wasn’t so much the comment as the avatar that came with it. Word verification, etc. deter passing trolls, but there’s nothing you can do about actual bloggers, apart from moderating. I quite like it that way, in fact. I might leave it permanently.

  20. JvS, you slipped in while I wasn't looking. LOL!

    It's getting worse by the day, isn't it? I came across a magazine the other day (I've stopped buying them: too expensive, too nothing). Every article was about what to wear, what to do, what to buy. I might follow the advice if I thought it would make my life better in some way, but it wouldn't, would it?

  21. GAH! Stupid Bloglines! Will you slap them for me? I thought it had been awhile so came here to check, and sure enough there's a new post but no update on the Bloglines. Grrrr.

    Now then, onto the subject at hand: whosoever it is who decided curly and/or wavy hair must also be the one that decided that all women should have the hips of a small boy. Jeebus forbid we should have shape or texture in this world! Let it all be as flat as our tastes! Idiots, all of 'em who think that. I don't know of a single person who doesn't appreciate curls on someone. For starters, it's way more fun to run your hands across the head of someone with curly hair anyhow.

    Also, I think this Polaroiding everything is a great idea. I'm totally going to start taking pictures of my supper BEFORE I eat it. How convinient that will be! And I'm sure it must serve some ineffably awesome purpose for sure.

  22. K, I didn't know about Bloglines. It would be very useful if it worked. Slap! LOL!

    There are things I'd like to do to fashion and beauty editors! And they're not nice things. LOL! First I would confiscate all those freebies they get and then tell us to buy for huge amounts of money. So there!

    Hey, I can just see it: an exhibition of photos entitled: 'Memorable Meals' (off to copyright the idea and title - although one can't copyright titles, I believe....)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.