I was watching The Princess Diaries yesterday and I was absolutely infuriated.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore the movie. I adore the book. I love the plot and I demolished those books when I was younger.
Nope, it wasn’t that. I was infuriated because there was yet another girl, with frizzy curly hair who got “made-over” into someone with pin straight, shiny locks of perfect hair.
I call bullshit!
I am sick to absolute death of being the “pre-makeover” girl in every film. And I’m going to tell you, quite frankly, why.
I hate my hair.
It’s a sentence that most teenager girls say on a regular basis. Usually accompanied with “I have nothing to wear” and copious amounts of groaning and door slamming.
However, I have a very large problem with my hair, and I have some people to blame.
God, my stupid stupid hair. I was born with barely any hair, and stayed that way until I was three. If my mum hadn’t put bright pink dresses on me, I would have easily been mistaken for a boy. Then I hit three and look, a miracle! I had hair! Whoop-de-doo!
Except it was curly. Like, really curly. And short.
You know what you can do with short, curly hair? Not much.
You know what new parents with straight hair do when they’re daughter comes out looking like someone shoved my fingers into an electric socket? They leave it to become a matted mess and just shove a headband in to keep it off my face.
Then we moved to China. Anyone with curly hair knows it needs upkeep and humidity is your worst nightmare. So in a country where no one knew how to cut my hair and it was humid 90% of the time, my hair was more of a mess than usual.
Between the ages of 3 and 12, my hair was a disaster. Because I didn’t know what to do with it and neither did my parents, so most of the time no one did anything with it. But that was okay, because no one else cared.
Then I went to high school. And my hair grew long and thick and somehow, more curly. And I learnt how to tame my mane with conditioner and mousse and gel. But I still hated it. Because all these girls around me had straight, sleek hair and I still had a crazy mess of curls. They could do anything they wanted with their hair and I could have mine loose, which I hated, or in a ponytail. I found out that my hair came from a distant family member who is a fairly famous actress – Minnie Driver – and I was thrilled, until I realized she had her hair chemically straightened.
But most of all, I hated my hair because it made me look fatter.
All these girls had sleek styles, long and straight and inconspicuous, that matched their sleek, straight bodies. And then there was me, round and bouncy with chubby cheeks and hair that about doubled the size of my head.
And I absolutely loathed all the models with “curly” hair that in reality, was barely wavy. Between that and the all the movies that showed the girl with shiny, straight hair after her makeover, I learnt that curly hair should be erased from existence. That it wasn’t pretty, and in fact, it should be ironed straight out.
I have news for you, movie makers.
Curly hair can’t be straightened like that.
It just doesn’t work. Believe me, I’ve tried.
So can you see how frustrating it is to never ever see a single celebrity who people see as beautiful with the same hair as you? Especially when you know damn well they’ve straightened it out.
Not to mention how angering it is to see girls losing their natural curls in a movie before they’re considered “pretty”?
It’s incredibly frustrating, because these people don’t realize how much damage they’re doing. They don’t realize that I’ve spent years listening to people telling me how lucky I was to have such beautiful and yet most days, I still hate it. They don’t realize that there’s a whole generation of curly haired girls who don’t have friends like mine, telling them it’s all crap. They don’t realize that by making sure no girl finishes a movie at a high school prom with curly hair, they’re making sure there’s not a single girl with curly hair who doesn’t at least once feel self-conscious about it. Even Hermione, who I idolized for the simple fact that she wore her hair loose and curly all the time, straightened it for the Yule Ball.
So was it really a surprise when this year I started getting questions about how I was going to straighten my hair for formal? Nope.
I just wish that for once, people would acknowledge that actually, curly hair freaking rocks (even if I often say otherwise), and let others know that too. Because I don’t want another single girl growing up with “chemical straightening” on her birthday wishlist.