Curly hair is a genetic gift with a likely connection to creativity and an inability to conform (A.K.A. behave). Accepting our wild hair is a part of the spiritual journey toward embracing how God made us, and who Goddess made us to be: creative, passionate, pioneers.
Marsha Brady is the Devil
“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” The immortal lament of Jan Brady and all other curly haired women who grew up in the
’70s when long, luxurious, straight hair was held up as next to godliness. If your hair was anything less than stick straight, you were condemned to spending at least half of your life trying to make your hair behave (A.K.A. straight). I personally lost years of my life to blow drying my wavy hair straight, finishing it off with 20 gallons of Aqua Net to keep it that way, and then praying like hell for no humidity and even bargaining away my unborn children in exchange for the absence of rain.
A Child of the ’70s
Being a child of the ’70s, I spent a fair part of my life trying to control the unruly nature of my curly hair. Blow dryers, curling irons, and straightening irons were necessary accessories for curly haired women in a straight haired world. (Things haven’t changed much, have they?!) This was all fine and good, I learned, until I dared to try a short haircut, modeled after one of my 1970s idols, Dorothy Hamill. What stylists did not know in 1978 is that the “Hamill Camel” does not work on curly hair, so I was forced to suffer the agony and humiliation of two years of horrible ugliness as I waited for my bad decision to grow out.
“Women with straight hair do not have to go through this,” I thought to myself as I watched the middle school princesses walk down the hall with beautifully straight hair and well-behaved feathered bangs. Sigh. So, not only was Marsha Brady the devil, so were Dorothy Hamill, Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. Curse you, straight haired women!
With Age Comes Wisdom
It took me many years but eventually I learned to embrace, and maybe even love, my curly hair. With stylists that know what to do and products that assist (my favorite curly hair products are Ouidad and Paul Mitchell), I can now wear my hair in ringlets like God/dess intended.
That does not mean I don’t occasionally get caught up in a wild hair frenzy, especially during the doldrums of winter
when I pull out a flat iron for that sleek Jennifer Aniston look. Once spring is here, however, all bets are off and my hair is at the mercy of the 90+ percent humidity characteristic of the Midwest.
There are some interesting lessons I have learned about curly hair, curly haired women (and men), and what seems like a genetic predisposition to misbehaving. Somewhere in that curly haired gene, I believe, is an equally defiant gene that says, “I will not, and can not conform!” (Kind of like our hair!)
Myths, Wives’ Tales and Nursery Rhymes
Remember this little ditty that was perhaps read to you at bedtime?
There once was a little girl
with a little curl right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good.
And when she was bad, she was horrid.
Yep. I remember it too. Along with something about “the devil’s curly hair” and the tendency toward curly hair among witches and evil goddesses. In particular, I think of Medusa with her curling hair of snakes and eyes that when caught in your gaze, turned you to stone. Myths, fairytales, nursery rhymes and legends all seem to suggest that curly hair is something to scorn, or at the very least, worthy of caution. Curly haired women are dangerous. Curly haired women are naughty. Curly haired women are bad.
What I have learned in observing the lives of other women (and men) with the gift of curly hair, it seems there is some truth in these tales of old. But, dangerous is simply a matter of perspective. Curly haired women are only dangerous to those who cling to the status quo, who do not like change, who fear creativity, who run from emotion or shun passion.
For like our hair, curly haired women tend not to be ones who will be obedient to the status quo or to some outside perceived authority. Curly haired women (like our hair) cannot be controlled, neither can we be contained. We don’t like being told what to do because (like our hair) we have a mind and a purpose, a direction and truth all our own. So, yes, curly haired women are to be feared if you prefer to live within the tightly held constrictions of societal norms, expectations and standards; but to those who enjoy a life of freedom, a life where they feel supported in the pursuit of their wildest hair ideas, then curly haired women are not a danger, but a precious gift.
So, today I offer a toast to all the curly haired women out there for their courage, creativity, ingenuity, foresight and tenacity and another to the brave souls who are the grateful recipients of our magnificent gifts!
Soul is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole. Lauri Ann Lumby, midwife to your soul, is a writer, poet and published author with over twenty years of experience assisting men and women in the birth of their soul. Learn more about Lauri and her work at yourspiritualtruth.com or call (920) 230-1313.
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- Assist. Ed: Jessica Wallin
- Ed: Brianna Bemel