Monday, May 20, 2013

"Just To Be Different"

I'm a sucker for customization for game characters. Depending on the options available, I will spend hours just tweaking facial features, hair style and fashion.

So is it really any wonder that I've also a weakness for customizing my own appearance?

Not that I've done much tweaking to my facial features--just tweezing. Divorcing my eyebrows is a task that requires vigilance and a check up with my lovely esthetician about every 3 weeks.

Eyebrows are bastards like that.

And eyebrow tweezing is really the absolute most mundane of body customization/modification there is. And before you try to argue with me that that isn't modification, let me stop you.

You are altering the way your body naturally presents itself.

It may be what you call "good grooming", but it's still a modification. It's an altered state.

You may be thinking, "But Kiri, if that's true than just getting a hair cut could be considered body modification".

You're right. It can.

What's my point? We all modify our bodies in some way or another. It could be you shave your arm pits/legs, or get your bangs cut every month to make sure they're always just hovering above your eyes but never in them--the point is most if not all of us participate in this practice. I really need you to understand how normal and every day it is.


Some people are just a bit more dramatic about theirs.

Me? I dye my hair. A lot. Ever since junior high when I was feeling ignored and lost and out of control with the circumstances of my life and I found a box of blonde hair dye in my mother's bathroom cupboard.

It turned orange, mind you, but Vitamin C (the Singer) was still popular so it ended up looking edgey and intentional.

I did it when my parents were out of town and I was staying with my mother's best friend. This woman was a second mother to me growing up (I've been ridiculously blessed to have so many strong women like this in my life) and I remember she was worried my parents would never let me stay with her again after they saw me. But more than that, I remember her looking me dead in the eye and saying, "Don't tell your mother I said this, but it looks fantastic."

And she was right. And for a few glorious days, I was the girl in my small backwater junior high with orange hair. And I was forever altered. I have always admired tattoos--I think they're absolutely beautiful but I was always wary of that kind of permanence.

This was something that could change with my mood if I was feeling so changeable that week. And that's where I've felt most comfortable.

And the reason I'm telling you this is because I need you to understand that me dying my hair bubblegum pink is no different than if you're a blonde who dyes her hair ginger. Yours may be passable as 'natural' but we're both doing the same thing. So you feel most yourself when your hair is platinum blonde rather than the mousy brown you were born with? I think I was made to bathe in technicolor.

We're the same.

Yes, there will always be people who do things purely for attention, but they live every lifestyle and sport every trend--don't limit that unpleasant trait to people with body modifications.

And I'm telling you this so when you see someone with bright orange hair or tattoo sleeves or seven piercings in each ear, you don't find yourself saying, "They just do that to be different."


They do that to be themselves.

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