Amongst all the ‘isms’ and ‘ists’ associated with movements and terms, there is a new term I am coining today. ‘Hairism’ for the prejudice and ‘hairist’ for the follower or ignorant/unaware individual.
If you like straight, long and shiny hair more than the frizzy, messed up hair and expect others to follow your footsteps, you’re a hairist. This is not an accusation, more like awareness about a code embedded in society, created by society. It’s not our fault at first because most of us are unaware and conditioned that way. Conditioned to believe that silky is best, that if you have any other kind of hair, you will not be accepted as much and may not look your best. Aggravated by advertisements of Vasmol and Sunsilk shampoos featuring women with luscious strands. So we assume it’s only normal, so so normal to like the straight. No one thought of girls who’d like to have short hair or boys who’d like to have long hair while creating these ads. It’s like a mold or a framework everyone just follows. Straight is good, straight is best.
It is our fault when we do not try to be aware, do not try to understand that you and I can walk around with curly, straight, frizzy, colored, damaged or no hair at all. It is okay. I can have just a strand of hair on my head and you should not have any problems with that. If I like it, I can do it.
There’s no harm in liking the straight, long and shiny hair, but there is definitely a problem when you expect every other person to have the same preferences as you do. To like and have the kind of hair you do.
There is no harm in going to the parlour and get your frizzy hair treated, but there is a problem when that is not want you want. When you are giving in to what others expect from you. When it does not come naturally to you.
The societal code tells us to love the straight, to straighten the curly even when you were born that way. Even though you like your messy hair, you succumb to pressure and train yourself to like the straight. And to be one of them.
A boy cannot have long hair, it’s ‘weird’. Unnatural. A girl is a rebel and the ‘feminist type’ if she dares to cut her hair short. Who made all this up? We did, and we can change it now.
Some of us can be confused, we like to have both straight and wavy hair or any other combination of textures. It is okay to be confused, to experiment and figure out. You are not what you are born with.
Amongst all the cynicism though, there is positive change when we see greater acceptance, more awareness and so many people figuring out if they like what they are, if they are comfortable being the way they were born.
They are reflecting more and discovering more about themselves, and hence about each other. One example is the brand Livon getting Kangana Ranaut to star in their ads. How often do we see a woman with almost an afro endorsing a serum or a conditioner? Rarely.
Change is happening, it’ll take time, but it is around the corner and it is beautiful! Until you are comfortable in your skin, you can have any kind of hair. It is okay and all is well.