As it seems to happen, the tale I was going to tell you has changed. I was going to share a tale of product knowledge today but it seems that tale will have to wait for another day. As I was eating my Honey Nut Cheerio’s and warming up the ol’ laptop I turned on the T.V. and heard a familiar tune from my youth. The tune was “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper but it was not my beloved Ms. Lauper singing. It was Artists Against Bullying – A beautifully selected group of Canadian artists singing an anthem from my youth. While watching the video as they displayed lyrics, thoughts and truths on white sheets of paper ( an homage to Bob Dylan) I found myself catapulted back to 1986 for the briefest of moments and remembering how I would play and rewind that song on my cassette player over and over. No matter what the year, decade or century…we all have either been bullied or felt like we would never fit in.
I know, I can hear you all now, “What does this have to do with beauty?”. The answer is EVERYTHING. When I was 14 I cut off all my hair. I loved it. It was funky. It was fun and it showed off my collection of earrings – from gold hoops to huge plastic numbers…hey, it was the 80’s. The first day I showed up at school with my new do I was welcomed with “wow…you look like a boy!”, “Why did you do that? Guys like long hair.” and my all time favorite “oh…So you are into chicks.”…and no one did anything. No one said anything to defend me. I couldn’t eat my lunch that day because I was using every ounce of my energy to keep my chin up and the tears in. (It was a good lunch, my mom had given me a chocolate bar.). I didn’t take the bus home that day. I was terrified of what I would hear. I walked home by myself, feeling stupid, ugly and fat – because for some unknown reason all 14 year old girls add “fat” to there list of woes on a bad day. When I reached home I went to my room and sat on the floor wondering how much wigs cost and where to buy one. I started going through my tapes and records (to this day music is what eases my mind and my soul) and came across Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. I didn’t listen to it right away. I just sat there staring at her. Her hair, her make up, her clothes. Then I grabbed her “She’s so unusual” album and stared at her some more. I sat there listening to her songs and staring at her hair and slowly felt a wee bit better. If she was okay being unusual, then I could be okay being unusual too.
The point to today’s tale is this. You can be yourself. People may not like it – let that be their problem. I have found that those who don’t support me are those who wish they could do their own thing but are too scared to even fathom the idea. For the parents out there – be kind to your children. Let them try new things with their hair and if they are made fun of because of their new mohawk, do not say “I told you so”. Tell them they look great and hug them. Ladies – when your gent is losing his hair…stop reminding him. Gents – when your lady tries a new cut and color…tell her she is beautiful. Everyone – when you see someone being mistreated, stand up for them.
“Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well-being of a person or an animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.