Curse You, Straight Haired Women! ~ Lauri Ann Lumby

Via elephant journal
on Jun 18, 2013
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Marsha Brady

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  or call (920) 230-1313.


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  • Assist. Ed: Jessica Wallin
  • Ed: Brianna Bemel



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13 Responses to “Curse You, Straight Haired Women! ~ Lauri Ann Lumby”

  1. Mary says:

    I get it. And I support you in your quest to accept your curls and yourself just as they are. But as a straight-haired woman who often wishes that I could get my locks to do something – anything! – other then just lie flat against my scalp, I kind of wish your acceptance wasn't meshed with a curse against me. Marsha's not the devil. I'm not the devil. We have no more control over how our hair grows out of our head than do you. But I join you in your toast; I am often envious of your curls, and I may have straight hair, but I love and appreciate all of the gifts that you offer.

  2. Michelle says:

    You hit the nail on the head about curly hair. I will also embrace my curl.

    Thank you for writing this article.

  3. michellec433 says:

    I, too, had a hair snafu in my middle school days. Then it was down to the middle of my back, thick and somewhat straight, then I got a short 1920's styled bob and my hair turned into an Afro. I did not know how to use a straightening iron, nor was there one at my house. Needless to say, that was the worst mistake of my life and hated my hair for a rather long time, but now I have come to embrace my curls. Sure, I will pull out the flat iron or even a curling iron to make my hair look a tad different, but most days I am just fine with my curls. We always tend to want what we don't have though. 😉

  4. Marcy says:

    This is so spot on of how I felt in junior high! I went to an hairdresser and asked for a Farrah Fawcett hair-do and the next day it rained making me look more like Bozo the Clown. It has taken me many years to accept the fact that my hair is wild.
    My hair is somewhat of a reflection of my personality, a little rebel and sometimes naughty…

  5. Melanie says:

    What am I to do? I have curly hair underneath and a straight layer over the top. The curls came after child no. 2. It's a battle every day!

  6. vicki says:

    I have to pay for my curls. You are so lucky to have natural curly hair.


  7. I feel you! My hair is not curly as yours but given that stick-straight hair is the trend at the time, my hair went though a lot to go with the flow. Sadly, all those attempt to achieve the desired result took a toll on my hair's health. I am now working to give my frizzy and damaged hair the life it once had.

  8. Robyn says:

    If it makes you feel any better, this straight-haired girl suffered all the way through the 1980s — the era of volume and perms! Nope, not even perms could curl my hair. It was a very difficult time. 😉
    Also, I'd just like to say that a lot of curly haired women seem to think that straight-haired ladies just wash and go and have fabulous hair. Most certainly not true — for me anyway. I have to blow it out in sections just the same.
    Sometimes I put my hair up in a twist while wet, and then that night I take it down and it's all bent and awful looking. But I shake it out and make it big, then squint really hard and pretend it's luxurious curls.

    Anyway, glad you have embraced your awesome curls!

  9. Geoff Withnell says:

    "Curly hair is a genetic gift with a likely connection to creativity and an inability to conform" WHAT RACIST CRAP! Trust me on this one. My Nordic blonde straight haired is quite creative, and conforms only when it damn well suits her. I have no problem with you celebrating your curly hair. Just don't think it makes you genetically superior to someone with a different ethnic background. That's as racist as anything said by someone dressed in a sheet.

  10. catnipkiss says:

    I love my cirls and ringlets in the humidity (my hair is more wavy than truly curly…) But I wish it would grow LONGER, it just won't!! Maybe nobody truly loves their own hair…… (oh, yeah, and let's not get started about colors, and the grey coming in – just sayin I am NOT a natural blonde, but now it's more like "Silver and Gold") YIKES – Alexa M

  11. LovelyLocs says:

    As a Kinky haired female I understand where you are coming from but I also think that we tend to think that the grass is always greener. With straight hair people, they wish their hair had some texture to it because it allows them to do something more with their hair instead of it being straight all day and night, you know how boring that can become? Which is why many started to perm their hair so it could look curly like yours. Then curly hair girls want straight hair so it can blow in the wind and be sleek etc. I've embraced my kinky hair because it's what I'm blessed with and I realize that I can style my hair in various ways including curly and straight and everything in between.

  12. @lesleylotto says:

    So much yay! I hear you!

  13. vivies says:

    I embraced my curly hair early in my life, at 18, and being a child of the 70's did play once with colouring my curls. I ended up looking like Ronald Mc Donald and never again. I am now in my fifties with a salt and pepper mane and I love it….