When it comes to physical attributes, the grass is definitely always greener on the other side. We all know someone with a perfect figure we envy, or a clear complexion we would kill to have.
This impulsive jealousy is completely understandable in most cases, but the one I really don't understand is curly hair envy.
Almost everyone I know who has straight or wavy hair would love to have my naturally curly hair, but there are some very significant drawbacks to having ringlets that I think people should know about before splurging for a perm:
Imagine getting up extra early one day to make your hair look its shiny, healthy best. You use your best shampoo and conditioner, and you carefully craft your coiffure with your favorite styling products. You spritz, you scrunch and then you saunter out into the world looking and feeling fantastic. It's a lovely feeling, isn't it?
If there's a bit of a breeze outside it gently ruffles your do and makes you feel like you're in a shampoo commercial, doesn't it? Well, not for curly-haired people.
For us, the tiniest hint of a breeze will completely ruin our look as soon as we leave the house. Windy weather makes terrifying fright wigs out of the sleekest and most painstakingly constructed styles.
Cute Is A Four-Letter Word
When you're a child, being cute is a good thing. It leads to compliments from strangers, a head start on establishing your self-esteem and, in the crucial moment of family photographs being dug out by your gleeful parents, it makes you look even more lovable to your new boyfriend or girlfriend.
Once you hit the age of 16 or 17, though, being cute is not so appealing. By the time you reach your mid-20s, being considered cute is positively humiliating, and it's something that curly-haired people still have to deal with.
People with ringlets are still grownups who have bills to pay, jobs to work and ambitions to fulfill. It is not okay that people try to pat us on the head and call us adorable.
Curly-haired people have a super power: We can defeat physics. Most people's hair grows downwards, in alignment with Isaac Newton's charming Theory of Gravity, but curly hair grows outwards.
Given enough time and no access to a hair salon, people with straight hair would start to look like Rapunzel or a rock star. Given the same circumstances, people with curly hair start to look like Ronald McDonald.
Curly-haired people have to face a lot more mistrust from the general public than anyone else does. Our integrity is questioned every day, whether it's by strangers who rudely insist that you "must" have a perm, or friends who demand to know how you do it.
The worst is when you're at the hair salon; you sit in the chair with wet hair that's been combed out straight and now looks twice its usual length, and you try to explain to the stylist that when your hair dries it will ping upwards and look a lot shorter than it does now, so he or she needs to cut it with care.
The stylist smiles, nods and completely ignores you, and then has the gall to say, "Oh, you were right!" when the inevitable happens. It's almost as though he or she doesn't think you might know your own hair like it's just that: your own.
Having curly hair is a genuinely dangerous experience; even the most basic day-to-day activities are perilous. For example, when your hair gets stuck in a zipper, you are essentially stuck like that forever, and we duck and weave to avoid yet another hair tug from friends who like to watch the curls bounce back.
When I was at school, I used to sit next to a friend who got bored very easily. One day she got so bored that she stuck a pen inside one of my curls. I didn't notice her doing this, so when I turned to ask her a question I ended up with a ballpoint in my scalp. It wasn't pretty.
There's Always One...
There is always, always one curl that just doesn't sit properly on your head. It won't pick a direction, or go one way or the other, so it sticks out of your head like an aerial corkscrew. We don't even get good reception on it, which is the biggest shame of all.
Photo via We Heart It