This post is in response to a writing prompt from Mama Kat. The prompt is "a time when people stared at me."
Despite being a confident and outspoken person, I've always been a bit shy and introverted in public. I know that's a bit contradictory, but really it is not. As an intelligent... no... smartypants girl... I'm quite secure in my abilities, but not nearly so secure in my social skills. Yep, that socially awkward nerd. Over my formative years, I tended to avoid any circumstance that would lead to people looking at me for long periods of time. I got stared at enough for being that girl who always knew the answers.
However, about midway through college, a few things happened. First, suddenly many of my friends also fit into the "smartypants" group. Second, I moved into a student coop where those slightly outside of the norm were more tolerated. Third, I had a rather traumatic appendectomy.
This last event pushed me into a mild depression, and I was seeking things to brighten my perspective on life.
....So, I bought some Manic Panic in Fuchsia. This was not the first time I had dyed my hair fun colors (it had been purple a few times), but this was the first time I dyed my entire head. Little did I know that because of poor diet (I had not been eating much after recovering from a burst appendix), my hair was brittle, weak and ready to suck in ALL of that fuchsia dye. For those not familiar with crazy hair color dye -- Manic Panic is actually not a dye -- it's a stain. It's supposed to last about a month, until it washes out of your hair. My hair was fuchsia/pink for 6 months!
This is me about 1 1/2 months after I dyed my hair. October 1996. My mom and I went to Stratford, Ontario to see some Shakespeare plays. My mom commented that I matched the flowers, so we had to get a picture! (My mom is pretty cool!) I remember someone commenting to my mom, "It's so good of you to get your daughter out and experience some culture!" My mom responded, "Oh, this was her idea!" Guess what those people were thinking about that punky haired girl?
Now, my college town is about as liberal as you can get -- but I was still stared at -- all the time! Probably because my head *glowed fuchsia.* I might have glowed in the dark. ;) As you can see from the picture, I tended to wear flowery dresses (and my biker jacket). I was a sight. But I usually made people smile. I loved it. I was no longer someone that people stared at because they wanted to ridicule. I was a spectacle. To me, I was pure fuchsia joy. My fuchsia hair helped pull me out of my funk that I had entered after my appendectomy.
Honestly, if corporate and suburban America were as tolerant as my student coop and my liberal college, my hair would be fuchsia right now.