Monday, February 09, 2009

Vintage Family Photos #2 - My College Graduation (and really awful haircut)

I have to say, I wasn't planning on sharing so very many photos of myself lately, but I think this one will make you laugh, and is a great segue to my next post (coming up very soon). My friend Megan had me photograph her dramatically short haircut (you'll see!), and I had just been going through the family photos when I found these, so of course I had to bring them along to make her feel better.

"See, Megan? No matter what happens, you will never have this terrible of a haircut!"

Okay, in truth, I love these photos, because they take me back to a specific place (Bennington College, Southwest Vermont - see the Green Mountains in the background?), a specific time (graduation, June 2000), and a specific mix of feelings (most of which I am SO grateful I don't feel any more! confusion, anxiety, etc...) that now seem so far away. How on earth has it been almost NINE years since I graduated from college?! That is a scary thought.

Back to the photos. And the haircut. I've never been scared of looking a little "bohemian" (shall we say), with sort of gentle-scary alterations like piercings, small tattoos, wacky clothing, etc. Though my friends in high school tended to be much freakier-looking and punk rock than myself, I still shopped at a lot of thrift stores and hesitantly considered myself kinda "alternative" (remember the 90s?!). But I never really changed, cut, or dyed my hair drastically. Temporary Manic Panic, yes, but always a shade of red-orange-magenta over my regular red hair. I still tell myself (and my hairdresser!) that I will leave it as it is until it goes white. Maybe then I'll be the little old lady with crazy green, purple, or black hair.

Anyway, after a lifetime of normal hair (okay, there were those BANGS, and that one feathered 'do in 1987, but those weren't crazy on purpose), in the final months of the last semester of college, I decided it was now or never. I cut off all of my hair (from about shoulder length). I did a terrible, terrible job, and I just hacked it all off near the crown of my head. I gave myself a mullet for about 5 minutes, gawking in the mirror, and then just kept going.

I was sort of hoping that I would reveal myself as one of those women with beautiful, dramatic features and look amazing with a buzz cut. But, alas, that wasn't the case, and I didn't even have the right product to attempt to tame it... You could every cowlick I have, and there are lots of those! So it was a long, painful growing out process. Though I have some cool extra-orange color splotches that occur naturally, and it was kind of neat to see that leopard-y effect, it just wasn't worth the years of headbands, pomade, and spikiness. Have I mentioned that I have really, really curly and thick hair?!

Still, I'm glad I did it once! And I'm so glad to have my long red hair back! Megan's hair will grow again : ) and in the meantime her little pixie cut looks so adorable, it makes me wish I was brave enough to go for a cute little cut just like it. However, I seem to have scared myself out of that for good!


justducky said...

Oh, yes, the feathered cut...and that fuzzy 'do we see every year on the Christmas tree.

O.K. I never knew what to do with your hair! Mine was straight (ONE cowlick) and all one color.

And listen to me, girl, yes you were definitely one of those girls with amazingly beautiful features. Yes you were and still are.

John + Kimberly Sanderson said...

I find this post funny because just the other day I was showing John a photo of you and saying...."I love Jessamyn's hair...she has the kind of hair I have always wanted." And here you are with it all shaved off and all of that gorgeousness hiding from the world. ;-)