My life dramatically shifted the morning of Thursday, October 16, 2014. It was my first day of fall break, and the first time I’d been home since college started. My parents and sister had already left for school or work, and I was enjoying my time off. Everything was fine and dandy, until I looked in the mirror.
The day before, as I was on my way home from Boone, I was talking to my best friend from high school. She has naturally brown hair, but in the past six months it has been a variety of different colors. I mentioned to her that I was thinking about dying my own hair brown, and she immediately jumped on the bandwagon and convinced me. So, once I arrived back in my hometown Wednesday night, I bought some hair dye, she came over, and I took the plunge. My hair, which has been blonde (naturally and then with some help) my entire life, was now dark brown.
Now, that’s not an earth-shattering problem. In fact, it’s not a problem at all. I think my new hair looks fantastic. I’m thrilled to have joined the ranks of Jackie Kennedy, Blair Waldorf, Audrey Hepburn, and Mary Tyler Moore. I’m glad I never have to hear another “dumb blonde” joke for the rest of my life (or at least in the immediate future).
However, as I stared at my unfamiliar reflection Thursday morning, I discovered something about myself. I realized that I absolutely love being blonde. I identify with blondes. I’ve always imagined myself as the next Elle Woods, and I took a sort of personal pride in defying my own stereotype. I was a cheerleader in high school, and no one assumes a blonde cheerleader loves to do things like read books and write stories and learn about the world. Generally, people underestimate blondes, and you get the privilege of proving the world wrong.
The world is divided into blondes and brunettes, and the night of October 15, I thought I sprinted over the line, leaving my fair-haired friends in the dust. I have never been more wrong. My physical appearance may be solidly in the “brunette” category, but my soul will forever be a blonde.