it's trivial. thinking about changing my name. polling about what to do with my hair. but these sorts of (trivial) things are likely to (have) help(ed) me survive many events in my life . . .

after being put on "permanent suspension" from the University of Florida in the early 1980's, i developed a pretty serious case of anorexia/bulemia. i was pretty happy being superthin, even given the costs. and it worked for me as i dove into fashion.

i went to "Beauty School" and, like any eating-disordered perfectionist, won both school competitions. first place in both cutting and styling. a friend who did a pristine updo should have won, but it was the '80's, and my "inspired" piece won. (note: Bradenton Beauty Academy did not have a website when i was there, so don't think you'll find pictures . . . because there is. no. evidence. i even threw out my trophies when i was feeling as though my cosmetology life was worthless after a few years of disenchantment -- that's another story).

but so my updo: i had found some broken pieces of black, plastic netting while walking by a construction site. i used it to create a "trash can" as the base of the style on my mannequin's head (i had pulled her hair into a high pony tail and used the netting to cover the hair beneath the rubber band).

[feel the excitement! . . . ] so the night before the competition, i set her hair in perm rods of various sizes. then, during the competition, all i did was take out the rods and let the hair spring all over, sort of like trash spilling from a trash can (my "concept"). oh, i fussed with the pieces, trying to make it look as though i was "styling," but it was done. and i dare say that my mannequin resembled the image, above -- a much more "ordinary" updo in today's hair scene, but back then, it was radical. and it's all performance.

and of course, yes, i had dreams of being a "platform artist," which is a hairdresser who performs at trade shows and competitions. because i had to be the best, and to be "just" a stylist would. not. do.

so my overfull trash can hair "style" won. and though i was d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s-l-y enchanted to discover that my "inspiration" could take me just as far as could "skill" (which, i mean, of course my little project required no small amount of skill -- rolling hair on perm rods was a talent l-o-n-g in development, for me), i felt sort of bad. i believed that my friend Terry should have won because she did a beautiful roller set and back-combed like the wind. her updo looked just exactly like the picture in the book. it was perfect. later, as a way of apologizing, i tried to befriend her and even went to support her at a local roller-skating competition (she wore the bespangled costume and skated in perfect circles and figure-8's; roller skating and hairdressing and ballroom dancing -- there must be a gene). at the competition, i was bored, but i played it up and cheered and generally felt as though i'd atoned for my "sin" of winning.

later, i won 2nd place in The Annual State of Florida Hair Cutting Competition. i cut a classic bob (sort of a no-brainer) on my sister, Emily, and when i went up to accept my trophy, i thanked "The Lord Jesus Christ" as well as my Beauty School mentors. oh yeah.

i could never back comb (tease) very well or in a very orderly fashion that would produce a neat, picture-perfect updo. my experience of teasing evolved from my punk life back in Gainesville. i had a very short haircut w/ long bangs; i would use the palm of my hand to mash it around to create a messy nest that formed the base from which the bangs would spring up and out and down. voilĂ . trivial things.

. . . l'image . . . happy, happy . . .


chris said…
i don't have hair.
chris said…
and i don't know why i just posted that comment.
not: why don't you have hair, but why not post that? i like the "plain style" :)