Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Shallow End of the Pool

I've tried not to become fixated, and I know it's shallow of me. But I have to confess: my daughter's hair is driving me crazy.

It's a hair-product manufacturer's dream: poker straight, wispy, fly-away, ultra-fine. No barrette known to humankind can stay affixed; ponytail holders lose their grip within a few minutes.

Not helping matters, of course, is the fact that Allison seems determined that her hair be unadorned. After voicing her extreme displeasure over the silly beauty routine of hair-combing, within 2 minutes she pulls out any hair accouterment that I've struggled to put in place.

Then we have the bangs dilemma. Keep cutting them, perpetuating a cycle of trims that I am not steady-handed enough to perform myself? Or allow them to grow out, thus embarking upon an aesthetically awkward voyage? Right now, she has bangs. But they're getting a little scraggly again....

I'm not sure why I am obsessing over this. Part of the reason may be my own deep-seated insecurity about my own hair, which is thick and curly, and, given the right atmospheric mix, has been known to make me look like Rosanna Rosannadanna. I don't want Allie to be as self-conscious about her hair as I am about mine. Part of me thinks that by finding just the right haircut for her, just the right set of barrettes or hairbands, I'll put her on the path toward self-acceptance. This sounds an awful lot like my 14-year-old self, who truly believed that the right makeup would land me popularity and the boyfriend of my dreams.

I really do need to get a grip. Allison is, in fact, just 17 months old, and chances are good that her hair will change texture or color as she grows up. And even if they don’t, that's okay, too. The last thing I want to do is externalize my own insecurities and make her feel that she is anything less than beautiful.